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
Be glad you're not inside the comedian's head at Will Franken: Third Saturday in Extraordinary Time. It's a vast movie studio lot where thousands of unrelated scenarios play out alongside each other. He guides us through this maze, finding common threads that last just long enough to transition from one set to the next. Think of a comedy troupe such as Monty Python or the Firesign Theater, then pack all those absurd characters into one brain. Franken plays them all. He's the pompous Brit interviewing Stephen Hawking on a talk show. Then he's Stephen Hawking, who uses his voice generator to deliver a rendition of the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the U.K. Then in the same voice, he's the BART station robot saying Next train for San Francisco/Colma in five minutes. He's Marlon Brando playing a 12-year-old Mexican transsexual being felt up on a first date. Then he's the absent-minded film critic who can't remember the name of that Brando film, but swears it was brilliant. He's the receptionist fielding a call from a guy who thinks he's found the man who slept with his girlfriend. Then he's the on-hold music. Then he's the receptionist's colleague who tries to help by pretending to be the other man. Just be glad Franken is your guide that mind is not a place you'd want to get lost.
Sat., Nov. 20, 8 & 10 p.m., 2010