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
To a generation growing up during the David Zucker era of Airplane! and The Naked Gun slapstick, those films were an education on absurdity, but also on the play of language and the weirdness of our culture. Why did they wear giant rubber tubes for the love scene? Was “jive” really a dialect? Who the hell is Shirley? For those of us raised not by an inclusive and loving community but by pop culture, this was some real indoctrination. Now The Naked Gun is 25 and a venerable part of American history, and it’s being honored as any good bit of history — by dissection. As part of SF Sketchfest, The Naked Gun: 25th Anniversary Screening recalls the adventures of beloved Det. Lt. Frank Drebin (played by beloved late actor Leslie Nielsen) as he investigates a plot against Queen Elizabeth II. This screening sees the great man himself, director Zucker, sit down with co-screenwriter Pat Proft (of Police Academy fame) and the woman who inspired Drebin to don a full-body condom, Priscilla Presley. They gather and tell an audience, many of whom they remotely raised, how we did and did not correctly interpret their greatest work. It’s a way of knowing who we are, at last.
Sat., Feb. 9, 1 p.m., 2013