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
You feel it every fall: The Christmas season creeps ever earlier. By next year, maybe plastic Santas, snowmen, and reindeer will steamroll the décor and detritus of other holidays. Halloween candy will be replaced by roasted chestnuts and candied apples. People will wear stocking caps on July 4. (Wait. Nevermind. That already happens.) Stopping the whole juggernaut seems hopeless because its fueled by the capitalist obsession to shop shop shop. What can you do? The answer is Reverend Billy. Equal parts comedian and culture-jammer, the reverend and his entourage stage in-your-face confrontations at the likes of Macys in New York City on Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving and also the busiest shopping day of the year. They encourage people to stop shopping and start, well, thinking. Consider the reverend a cross between Michael Moore, Adbusters, and a dumptruck full of caffeine and theatrical chutzpah. His Earth-a-llujah Earth-a-llujah Revival is touring California. It includes the Reverend Billy himself (also known as Bill Talen) as well as the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir.
Mon., Oct. 25, 7 p.m., 2010