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
Those unfamiliar with the world of steampunk may be tempted to lump it in with other fantasy subcultures, some of which involve dressing up as videogame characters or wizards. And it's true that steampunk is wrapped in a thick layer of geekery, but the lace-infused, monocle-heavy patchwork of past and future is more dignified than furry leggings: The brass and wood mashups of modern technology and vintage machinery consistently and purposefully evoke Jules Verne novels. If youre just discovering steampunk, a night at the movies might just be the thing to ease you into the scene. Science Fiction in San Francisco (SF in SF) presents a Steampunk Film Night as part of the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition, a four-day event that takes place mostly in Emeryville. The screening features three films, including Joss Whedons Internet masterpiece, Dr. Horribles Singalong Blog. The series, starring Neil Patrick Harris (of Doogie Howser, M.D.) and Nathan Fillion (of Firefly) follows the trials and tribulations of Harris Dr. Horrible, who strives to be the worlds preeminent evildoer. The story, like much of Whedons fare, is both funny and surprisingly touching. As the title promises, its also a musical with songs like Everyones a Hero and A Mans Gotta Do, tailor-made for audiences to warble. Attendees are encouraged to dress in Victorian or steampunk outfits, and the ticket price covers free popcorn. Dont forget to turn off your pocket telegram machine during the show.
Wed., March 10, 7 p.m., 2010