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
For the exhibit "Now and When," the S.F. Arts Commission gave $2,000 each to a bunch of artists to make time-capsule projects. Packard Jennings spent his on dinner. He's a conceptual artist it was an expensive dinner. Actually, Jennings did some of the most intriguing work: He took out a bunch of conceptual artists, plied them with food, filmed the conversation, framed the receipt, transcribed the tape, and put everything on display. Gay Outlaw and Bob Schmitz, however, stopped time by preserving their 9-year-old son's bedroom, but they didn't do it by cleaning out the kid and putting his stuff in the gallery. That wouldn't be very nice (or artistic). Instead, the parents photographed everything and catalogued the images. But not all toys are equal, as every second-rate Zhu Zhu knockoff hamster in the city dump knows. Angus' most prized possessions Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, a baseball, a Pokemon, and so on were supersized, made into sculptures, and hung on a Calderesque-mobile to drift in the still air, like the icons of a boy's lazy dream. Almost better than viewing it is knowing that the installation will be crated up for the next 40 years, then again exhibited when Angus is middle-aged, baseball is soccer, and Pokemon is our religion. Today, at "The Art of Passing Time," Outlaw and Schmitz appear in conversation with Douglass Bailey of SFSUs anthropology department.
Wed., Aug. 25, 12:15 p.m., 2010