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
This year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
Renaissance man Radio Active is a beatboxer for Michael Franti and Spearhead, but don't think you know all about him just because of that. He's also a painter, and his aesthetic is far from, though not antagonistic towards, anything tie-dyed. The guy is definitely a peacenik: Let's not forget Spearhead has a song whose chorus is "You can bomb the world to pieces but you can't bomb it into peace." But Radio Active's art is painterly, not so much political, somewhere between Raymond Saunders and Georges Braque. He's a cubist Keith Haring with a vintage hip-hop color palette: Think of the kids sitting on the stoop in Do the Right Thing wearing aqua and cherry. Radio Active is also influenced by "the street," as he says -- plenty of his work was never meant to make it from the alley wall into the gallery, but his stuff looks nothing like any other graffiti art we've seen. At "She's Alive," the artist uses iconographic femininity as a metaphor for the life and supposed death of hip-hop.
March 11-15, 2008