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 slippery, sprawling smorgasbord that is Frameline34: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival offers delicacies for nearly any boy or girl. Got a taste for New Yorkstyle transvestite glamour? Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar (June 23) has got it up to its eyelashes. As a bonus, a pair of provocatively titled programs of vintage Warhol films, Hustlers and Exhibitionists" and Sex, Leather Jackets, and Cigarettes," show the scene as it was. Forcing our gaze down below the equator the festival spotlights South Americas new wave of queer cinema with a steamy sidebar led by the Peruvian bisexual triangle Undertow (June 22). For something closer to home, The Stranger in Us (June 23 and 25), Scott Boswells fresh, moody, and occasionally poetic indie feature about a sensitive guys first year in San Francisco, unfolds on Polk Street, in the Tenderloin, and around Civic Center. Poetry, of course, imbues every frame of Howl (closing night, June 27), Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedmans daring, partly animated excavation of Allen Ginsbergs pants-dropping proclamation, the ludicrous obscenity trail against its S.F. publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights bookstore, and the closeted Cold War 1950s society that inspired Ginsbergs beat masterpiece.
June 17-27, 2010