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 Fillmore district has long been the city’s go-to spot for music so slick and greasy it makes you feel like you cheated on a diet. So it’s only natural that a celebration dedicated to gluttony, recklessness, and debauchery -- Fat Tuesday -- finds the district a nice home to roost. Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore, part of the district’s sixth annual Mardi Gras celebration, kicks off with a free concert in Fillmore Center Plaza featuring Bobby Webb & Smooth Blues Band. Ten of the district’s signature clubs host live performances, complete with free Mardi Gras beads and signature cocktails. Other festivities include a New Orleans-style processional, street artists, costume contests, food and drink provided by the district’s favorite locales, and a masquerade ball. Who knew a taste of the Big Easy could feel so homegrown?
Tue., Feb. 21, 8 p.m., 2012