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
June in San Francisco: As our residents hoist rainbow flags aloft, tether ball gags to studded belts, and crack open new tubs of lube, numerous visual artists gear up to Express Themselves. These homosexual thinkers and feelers bring us their comedy, their song, and their metaphor, as ever, but with an extra dash of enthusiastic GAY! (and Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender). "City Solo" showcases four lesbian artists performing original material: Regard stand-up comedian Janine Brito as she speaks of her life during 1993 and 1994, comedienne Julia Jackson navigating the world of adoption, Thao P. Nguyen telling a vigorous coming-out story, and Martha Rynberg daring you to think beyond the vagina in Lady Parts. Nguyen and Rynberg have worked closely with celebrated Bay Area laff man W. Kamau Bell, Brito was the winner of the 2009 S.F. Womens Comedy Competition, and Jackson has worked with known hams Robin Williams and Dana Carvey. Whether you're proud youre gay or ashamed youre not, these giggles are yours to enjoy.
June 6-20, 7 p.m., 2010