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
Light in the loafers or bonkers for Balanchine, friends of Dorothy or freaks for Diaghilev: High art queens of any stripe need look no further than their own San Francisco Ballet for programs hell-bent on pleasing omee-palones. Audiences clutching their pearls and fluttering their lashes in an ecstasy of arts patronage and putting on attitudinal airs with their formal wear only accounts for the snappy termagants that make up its workaday heterosexual audience. Three times a season, however, the company blows its Beaux-Arts doors open to confirmed bachelors and women in comfortable shoes with Nite Out, a postperformance cocktail reception and preperformance artist interview. This second night in the series celebrates 15 years of collaboration with world-renowned choreographer Mark Morris by featuring three of his ballets: A Garden, Joyride, and Sandpaper Ballet, works which will undoubtedly cause a sensation among those fair citizens with a little sugar in their step.
Fri., March 13, 8 p.m.; Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., 2009