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
San Francisco has an abundance of parks, but we all know the problem with parks: The grass. Good to sit on, but generally boring, not at all native, and irresistible to people who need to vomit, sleep, or the other thing. Lawns are also the enemy of the environment: The best book about lawn care released in 2006, American Green, details how we should just firebomb the front yard, or at least keep Scotts Turf Builder off it. Also, Michael Pollan once said this: Lawns are nature purged of sex and death. Why? Who cares -- he sounds like Jean Genet. But theres a green-space alternative, at least in our city: The dozens of community gardens tucked into empty-lot nooks and stairway crannies, drenched in 70s patchwork funkiness. Longtime Bay Area gardener Alex Hatch details 30 in her book Cracks in the Asphalt: Community Gardens of San Francisco, complete with vibrant photographs by Stacey Miller. You can probably plant something if you get in good with the locals, swear off malathion, and request a plot. We just like to shuffle around, make fun of someones kale, and pretend we see Alice Waters.
Thu., March 26, 7 p.m., 2009