From Patrik Sandberg’s article for Frieze:

For gay men coming of age, discovering Jim’s work resembles, in both aspect and form, an archaeological dig that produces a glittering artefact from some ancient civilization. If adornment is a form of worship – from the Egyptian pharaohs in their tombs to Toddlers & Tiaras (2009–2016) – Jim’s religion would be homosexual lust: beauty, youth, hustlers and oral penetration. Based on the Ancient Greek myth, Pink Narcissus represents an allegory that is almost glib in its obviousness, about eroticism’s journey from innocence to abjection. Revolving around an androgynous catamite, played by real-life hustler Bobby Kendall, the film depicts Narcissus lounging in his pink apartment, entering a spellbinding fantasy of himself in various forms: as a matador in a hall of gilded mirrors, as a Roman slave boy, as an emperor and, ultimately, as the keeper of a harem of male dancers. He transitions from a hustler pleasing his johns to a john surrounded by hustlers. The film climaxes in a phantasmagorical manifestation of the Times Square neighbourhood on Jim’s doorstep. Ghouls copulate next to blood laboratories and dildo salesmen harangue passers-by alongside buskers, prostitutes and demonic clergymen. It’s a carnival of sexual horrors on the city streets that is meant to be juxtaposed as the pinnacle of depravity against the film’s more romanticized early scenes.

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