From Anne-christine d’Adesky’s Substack:
I was headed for a small retrospective art show in Chelsea by James Bidgood, a gay photographer-artist and former drag performer who many consider the father of gay pulp. He died this past January from complications of Covid. He was 88 and lived in New York for over 70 years. He was a talented costume and set designer. In his last years, he became very close to one of my best friends. The show, Unseen Bidgood—A Memorial Exhibition, is up at Clamp gallery (247 W 29th, ground fl.) and coincided with a weekend memorial where many friends and fans celebrated his life.
Bidgood came to New York from Wisconsin and studied at Parsons School of Art and Design. He worked as a window dresser and photographer for men’s physique magazines. We’re talking 1960’s. He also directed the cult 1971 film Pink Narcissus, which starred the amazing Charles Ludlam, another fabulous downtown star lost to us too soon. Bidgood’s work at CLAMP might be called high-camp or baroque pornography featuring colorful sets and largely naked pretty young men. Think pink and orange, feathers and sequins. An exhibit press release notes that Bidgood ‘translated the city surrounding him into a flamboyant queer utopia, driven by his love for everything kitsch.’