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 sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
For a man who lived his adult life in public view on stage, in the newspapers, in numerous sultry music videos, and on countless talk shows Serge Gainsbourg remained a charming, chain-smoking enigma. To most of his French countrymen, the brilliant pop songwriter and singer epitomized a freewheeling break from postwar conformity and complacency. To others, he was an ungrateful, misogynistic cynic with an unquenchable appetite for gorgeous women and top-shelf alcohol. Gainsbourg: The Man Who Loved Women is Didier Varrod and Pascal Forneri's witty and immersive documentary for French television. It aspires to unearth the artist's true nature through a chorus of deeply affectionate female voices. Twenty years after Gainsbourg's death, the ladies' man is warmly remembered by ex-lovers Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, singers Juliette Greco and Vanessa Paradis, and daughter Charlotte. But it's the legend's voice, sometimes smooth and sometimes raspy, concealing as much as it reveals, that pins us to our chair. (The doc is perfect companion viewing for Joanne Sfar's quirky bio-pic, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, on a Landmark theater screen in San Francisco this week.)
Oct. 28-Nov. 10; Sat., Nov. 12, 9:15 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 14, 9:15 p.m.; Nov. 16-17, 9:15 p.m., 2011