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
Formally, “bug” refers to an order of insects that includes cicadas, aphids, and shimmering shield bugs, but we want to talk about arthropods, those creepy little critters that likely compose 300 times the biomass of the Earth’s human population. And the diversity! There are almost 400,000 known species of beetle alone, but there is also a sea-faring water-strider that feeds on plankton, and a wingless midge that lives in Antarctica. The Borneo walking stick grows up to a foot in length, while the tiniest fairyfly barely reaches .0055 inches. The orchid mantis catches food by resembling a beautiful flower, while the twisted-wing just burrows into a passerby and feeds on its living organs. Surely, one Bug Day is not enough to celebrate them all, but it’s a good place to start. Learn from beekeepers as they work, view some very exotic live insects, and snack on some common ones (80 percent of the world’s nations engage in entomophagy, after all). And, before choosing your champion in the annual Insect Olympics, you might want to ask the entomologists which bugs affect your daily life and which have changed human history.
Sat., April 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 2013