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
We don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
Wilma Stephenson runs her high school culinary arts class like a Marine sergeant: Shes loud, cranky, and prone to threatening bodily harm. Stephenson, a central figure in co-directors Jennifer Grausman and Mark Beckers likable, straightforward Pressure Cooker, is a slackers nightmare and a nerds masochistic dream. For her students at a Northeastern Philadelphia school, she might also be their ticket out of stifling homes and a dead-end neighborhood. Pressure Cooker focuses on three seniors taking Stephensons class to prepare for the Culinary Institute of Americas scholarship competition: Fatoumata, a recent immigrant from Africa who longs to escape her oppressive father; Tyree, a football player hoping to secure a future not only for himself but his single mom; and Erica, a young woman who, after a lifetime of caring for her blind sister, has decided to get hers. The intersection of food and identity is briefly explored, and the prep/exam sequences have a tension and charm that keeps the film moving toward its literally rewarding climax. Stephenson looms largest as a reminder of what the right teacher can mean to a kid looking for a way out; it takes a strong woman and a special grace to not only let her protégés go, year after year, but practically shove them out the door.
Aug. 20-27, 2009