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
George Saunders is often compared to Kurt Vonnegut, but he could also be a Vonnegut character. Listen to this: He was born in Texas, got a B.A. in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, worked for years as a geophysical engineer, and logged time in Sumatra with an oil exploration crew. Then, last year, he received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" Fellowship -- all for short stories. Now, as the main course at all the best dinner parties, especially ones at the tables of oilmen, he's throwing caution to the wind and untapping his first collection of nonfiction, which goes by the very Vonnegut-like title The Braindead Megaphone. So it goes.
Mon., Sept. 10, 7 p.m.