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
We all went through it as kids. Everything was so unfair: the constraints, the responsibilities, the boredom. Then one day we opened a door in our house and there it was a perfect existence, where all was right and anything was possible. You think we're kidding? Not really. We all found that place, only to slowly realize it was the adult world, where we had to stand up for ourselves and determine our role. In Coraline, we see this lesson writ literal with a whole lot of weird sights and sounds backing it up. The title character is a young girl who enters what she thinks is an ideal replica of her own world. The set of her real life has an Edward Gorey feel to it black and gray, cloudy and macabre whereas in her other life, everyone wears bright colors and is illuminated with black light. The stage production of Coraline (which has also been novel, graphic novel, and motion picture) contains songs and scoring by Stephin Merritt, whose work can be irresistible and insufferable at the same time as we're sure he intends it. Among the instruments used is a prepared piano, so named because its internal workings are gunked up with the likes of playing cards, sleigh bells, and nuts and bolts. A cast of puppets that play ghost children and dogs completes Coraline's bizarre trip into her fantasy world and ultimately into herself.
Tuesdays-Saturdays; Tuesdays-Saturdays; Sun., Dec. 26; Dec. 28-31; Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 16. Continues through Jan. 15, 2010