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 may seem retro to criticize suburbia. You might ask yourself: Hasn't that point already been made? That conformity and excessive consumption of resources, not to mention enforcement of pink canopy beds for girls and race-car themed bedrooms for boys is totally evil? On the one hand, yes, John Waters exists, so you could be forgiven for thinking that most of these problems haven't shriveled on their own. But at Douglas Schneider's "Suburban Birthday Party," the painter points out that on the other hand, no, the 'burbs are still raging along repressedly, whether in the form of crumbling relics of gas stations of yore, or of the monolithic donut emporiums that still dominate the landscape. He also uses a mixture of disaster imagery and abstract expressionism, very sad, very odd, very pleasing. The overall effect is unlike, and yet like, the suburbs themselves.
May 7-June 27, 2009