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
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
Anna Halprin, who celebrates her 90th birthday in July, is a force of nature. Not the kind that steamrolls everything in its path but a gently, relentlessly persistent drive, like a wave that starts out in the middle of the ocean and lands on Stinson Beach, or a steady rushing breeze that blows all day from the top of Mt. Tamalpais down to the bay. Breath Made Visible, Ruedi Gerbers portrait of the artist as an ageless fount, transports us to the woods of Marin County where the pioneering dancer and choreographer has lived and taught the principles of improvisation and collaboration for decades. The documentarys physical center is the enormous wooden deck, pitched among the redwoods in their vast yard, which the late landscape architect Lawrence Halprin built for his wife. It serves as studio, performance space, healing hub, refuge, and Mecca for those drawn to Anna Halprins seer-like spirit and grace. Its no small feat to make a legend life-size and accessible without dispelling her greatness and mystique, yet Gerber pulls off a delicate tightrope act with relaxed ease. You could say theres something in the way she moves. Anna Halprin and director Ruedi Gerber appear on opening night April 2.
April 2-8, 6:45 & 8:30 p.m.; April 3-4, 2:45 & 4:45 p.m.; April 9-15, 7 p.m.; April 10-11, 3:20 p.m.; April 16-22, 8:30 p.m.; April 17-18, 4:45 p.m., 2010