While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
It’s that time of the month. That time when, after paying every bill, you realize you live in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Fortunately, there is still hope in this unaffordable city. Rain or shine in your personal economy, numerous museums today are free to all comers. On the list are the Cartoon Art Museum (Pay What You Wish Day), SFMOMA (catch “Paul Klee’s Circus”), The Contemporary Jewish Museum (view Kehinde Wiley’s hip men of color paintings), SF Camerawork, the de Young (the “Eye Level in Iraq” exhibit is a must-see), and don’t miss the Conservatory of Flowers nearby. If you can only visit one museum, however, go to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “Without Reality There Is No Utopia” is on display, examining how false narratives interposed by a virtual reality have replaced actual reality (Think about how much time you spend online). Then there’s Shih Chieh Huang’s “Synthetic Seduction,” a sculptural ecosystem that mirrors the machine performance movement of the Bay Area. As if this wasn’t enough, YBCA’s “We Carry Each Other” brings in queer, intimate, and unforgettable works of sculpture, movement, projection, and sound. Before ending your visit, stroll around Yerba Buena Gardens, enjoy the butterfly garden, try to shake the shaking man statue, or just stretch out on the grass, thankful that you have not spent a penny.
Tue., March 5, noon, 2013