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
Ask any train hopper: Riding the rails can be true bliss. The feeling of pulling out of a yard after hiding in the corner of a boxcar for 14 hours makes the slow, dirty trip instantly worth it. And running out of water, getting shot at by rednecks, or losing a limb are risks many believe are worth the experience of seeing the countryside scene-by-scene from a rusty metal car. Riding freight trains is just about as American as apple pie, a middle finger to capitalism, and a true test of ones liberties. Just ask Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, or any of the others who have pennilessly traveled the country in search of something often unknown I'm a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train, Rodgers once sang. Although the mainstream often regards it as the domain of crazy hobos and illegal immigrants, director Sarah George proves otherwise. For five years, George rode alongside four self-sufficient souls who regularly hop trains, and her 2002 film, Catching Out, provides a picturesque look at the freedom and beauty of life on the rails.
Sat., June 28, 2 p.m., 2008