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
Tonight, the two leading pranksters of the Yes Men, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, appear for a discussion in a space usually reserved for deep thinkers from political, environmental, and sociological realms the intelligentsia. Everybody is on high alert, obviously. You can question the pair, but itll probably go something like this: How do we know youre the Yes Men? You dont. Should we believe youre the Yes Men? I wouldnt. Or you can just be on a hair trigger, sensitive to every nuance and pause, judging the level of absurdity in every word and gesture. But that sounds exhausting, frankly. Much better to sit back, take it all in (these guys impersonated Canada, the country, at Copenhagens climate conference, after all), and if it all goes wrong in the end or a few hours later on YouTube take comfort in the fact that you got fooled by the best.
Tue., April 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010