Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Looking for Mr. Bidgood

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Looking for Mr. Bidgood

Article excerpt

WITH A NEW BOOK AND A MOMA SCREENING, JAMES BIDGOOD TALKS ABOUT THE FRESH LIFE OF HIS CLASSIC CAMP FILM PINK NARCISSUS BY ED SIKO

In Pink Narcissus, James Bidgood's groundbreaking 1971 film, a pouty-lipped young man named Bobby Kendall lies naked on a field of ultragreen grass, the sky electric blue above him. Lest in self-adoration, he draws a reed across his porn-quality torso, pausing on his left nipple--shot in extreme close-up and bathed in such an unearthly light that it resembles Saturn suspended in an infinite sky. Bobby captures a yellow butterfly and uses it like a fig leaf, then lets its wings flutter gently against him. Grasping a jewel encrusted chalice, he dribbles golden fluid on his beautiful navel Maxfield Parrish, meet Chi Chi LaRue.

In his heyday Bidgood created outcast art on the homo fringe. (it's hard to believe, but nude muscle boy reclining on gilded beds while playing lutes were once considered tacky.) But this month the 66-year-old Bidgood has finally arrived--if not in the mainstream, at least in high queer culture. Bidgood, a lavishly illustrated book of his fabulous art, is being published by Taschen; along with hundreds of gorgeous color photos, the book features elegant essays on Bidgood's work by the novelist-critic Bruce Benderson. And a newly restored print of Pink Narcissus will appear at lesbian and gay film festivals in June and July and as part of the Strand Releasing retrospective at New York City's Museum of Modern Art July 6 and 11. …

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