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
The Soviet Union admitted that yes, it mass killed 15,000 Polish POWs and then blamed it on the Nazis. Unfortunately, the soldiers were offed in 1940, and the admission didn't come until 1990. Hey, they made it in the same century! The massacre is dramatized in Andrzej Wajda's Katyn. Wajda is lauded for films like Ashes and Diamonds and Danton -- he's a skilled auteur and the film looks gorgeous -- but this one has a different feel. Wajda's own father was one of those Polish soldiers.
June 19-25, 2009