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
Mashing up different world cuisines is usually a popular conceit for new quick-service eateries and food trucks to make a quick buck and gain Instagram fame, but Volta has shown how well global cross-pollination works on a refined plate without stretching for novelty or pretense in the process.
Before setting pen to paper, Sin Nombre writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga purportedly rode the rails in the company of real illegal immigrants traveling from Mexico to the U.S. But from the looks of it, he spent even more time studying Brazilian director Fernando Meirelless slicked-up slum porn City of God: diminutive kids with gunscheck; carefully lit and art-directed shantytownscheck; doomed teen romanceyep, that too. In fairness, Fukunagas film isnt quite as ostentatiously vulgar as Meirelless: Its loftier aspirations are obvious from the opening shot of El Casper (Edgar Flores), a young initiate in the fact-based Mara Salvatrucha gang, staring fixedly at a photo enlargement of a leafy wooded landscapea signal flare (along with his teardrop tattoo) that hes really a soulful poet-dreamer trapped in a violent existence. After his girlfriend is raped and murdered by the gangs more elaborately tattooed leader, Casper makes a break for it, hopping the same U.S.-bound freight train on which Honduran teen Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) and her father are heading to the promised land. Meanwhile, Caspers best friend, Smiley (pint-sized Kristian Ferrer), is dispatched to track the fugitive downhmmm, do you think these two amigos will find their personal loyalty tested by obeisance to La Mara? Lushly photographed and meticulously sound-designed, Sin Nombre is visceral without being vital, researched without ever seeming lived-in. The best that can be said is that its a more honest film on the subject of immigration than the recent Crossing Overbut then again, so is Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Starts: April 3. Daily, 2009