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
Making the less-traditional transition from brick-and-mortar to mobile pop-up, A16 is finally offering its hearty Monday meatballs and signature wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas without the inconvenience of needing to book a table.
The image of the polite, conformist Japanese person somehow lingers despite (or because of) the last decades onslaught of J-horror flicks. Pink Cinema Revolution: The Radical Films of Koji Wakamatsu revives the low-budget master of pinku eiga exploitation to kick out the jams and the stereotypes once and for all. Wakamatsus aggressive blend of soft-core sex, hardcore violence, and political revolt was a shock to the system in the '60s and '70s, especially one in thrall to passive materialism and the American military. 1972s The Ecstasy of Angels (Oct. 8 and 11), the opening salvo in the series, centers on a cadre of rebels who divide their time between screwing and plotting. In Wakamatsus inflamed worldview, sex isnt an expression of liberation (blow jobs against the empire?) but a desperate escape from the horror of everyday life. Or worse, in the adulterous affair between former college lovers and protesters that drives Secrets Behind the Wall (Oct. 10), a depressing, neonostalgic substitute for real action. The seven-film retrospective concludes Oct. 29 with the gutsy, harrowing United Red Army (2007), a self-financed docudrama that proves the director has stayed true to the idealism of the '60s.
Thu., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009