From Edge Media Network:
James Bidgood, the erotic gay photographer who directed the cult 1971 classic “Pink Narcissus,” died in Manhattan on January 31, The New York Times reported. He was 88.
“Brian Paul Clamp, director of his gallery, ClampArt, said his death, in a hospital, was caused by complications related to COVID-19,” the New York Times reported.
Bidgood, a Wisconsin native, came to New York at the age of 18. He was a drag performer in the 1950s at Club 82 in the East Village, where he also sometimes designed sets and costumes. By the early 1960s he was taking photographs for men’s physique magazines like Muscleboy.
Finding these gay erotic photos subpar, Bidgood decided to shake things up. “He staged photographs, mostly in his Manhattan apartment, that were lavish fantasies full of references to mythology, adventurous lighting and props, and attractive men — sometimes in costume, sometimes in nothing. The pictures, some of which ended up on the magazines’ covers, were both erotic and amusingly campy,” writes the Times.
“Enchanted scenes of languorous godlike figures in ersatz splendor are rendered with such theatricality of gesture, mood, color, texture and fabric as to parody the very desire they are designed to elicit,” Philip Gefter wrote of Mr. Bidgood’s work in the photography magazine Aperture in 2008.
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