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
We will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
The Strokes have enjoyed too charmed an existence to justify their turn from crafting garage-flavored party-rock to garage-heavy diatribes against fame and fortune, but here they are, cynical and angst-ridden on First Impressions of Earth. And clearly thats by design. Determined to broaden their sound after the carbon-copy successes of Is This It? and Room on Fire, Julian Casablancas and company have ditched longtime producer Gordon Raphael (on all but three tracks) for Sugar Ray mastermind David Kahne. The result is the quintets most rousing, emotionally revealing effort to date, with Casablancas finally losing his calculated cool against a background of typically meticulous riffs and frenetic melodies. Today theyll talk about us, he bellows on the not-so-subtly-titled 15 Minutes. Tomorrow they wont care. Maybe, but if First Impressions is any indication, theres plenty of reason to care. Hell, things are just getting interesting.