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
Don't underestimate the Hollywood musical. Just consider the turbulence of the 1960s – the civil rights movement, the pill, war protests, women’s liberation. Sure, those were responses to strife, inequality, and oppression, but it's our theory that the sugarcoated pretty nonsense of musicals such as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Doctor Doolittle were the match that lit the fuse of rebellion. Alas, everything that goes around comes around, and now that you’ve given up drugs and started a family, your tolerance and even appreciation for movie melodies has no doubt increased exponentially. In fact, mainstream films that once seemed too trite to bear now feel endearing and familiar. Sing-Along Sound of Music revisits the cheery days when Julie Andrews was the epitome of porcelain-scrubbed virginity, Christopher Plummer was a matinee idol, and the Nazis were spit-polished villains. Setting the family-friendly mood, organist David Hegarty leads off with a half-hour’s worth of Rodgers and Hammerstein hits from Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and The King and I. The world has changed so much in 40 years that this might indeed be the new transgression.
Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2011