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
Whether you mix peppermint schnapps in your cocoa or prefer your chocolate straight and cold with a sidecar of cookies, its a good guess you dont often pose the ingredients on various body parts and drink the concoction while upside down. Yet such is a simple snack for Sweet Can. As the little circus revealed during Habitat, a show focused on the anticipated arrival of a letter, these performers apply physical challenge and emotional complexity to the simplest of tasks, while conjuring effortless grace during the nearly impossible. Even while using aerial silks, slack rope, hoops, wheels, swings, and rings, Sweet Can performances have the look and feel of dance. Little wonder: Long before director Joanna Haigood began teaching at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory, she was garnering awards around the world for her choreography, which often incorporated architecture and suspension. Since music is as elemental to dance as gravity, Sweet Can also lays claim to some of the areas finest musicians. Its latest show, Yes Sweet Can, blends the beauty of flight with the frivolity of tap-dancing garbage cans, and makes use of every ounce of the troupes formidable talent, not to mention its chocolate milk.
Dec. 18-Jan. 3, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009