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
Guess what? Comedy, as in the comedy world, lags somewhat behind the rest of the world in terms of certain kinds of intelligence. "But what about Eddie Izzard?" you're wondering. "Or Margaret Cho or Janeane Garofalo or Dave Chappelle?" Well, here's what: In spite of those successful people, up-and-coming comedians still have a disproportionately hard time if they're not straight white dudes who skew Repub. To us, it all means we're being denied access to funny jokes. Not cool! At Fags and Hags, Nico Santos leads a gang that doesn't meet the above description: Chris Burns, Mary Van Note, Guy Branum, Jonny McGovern, and Loren Kraut. None are straight men, all are smart, fast, and hilarious.
Jan. 18-19, 8 p.m., 2011