Queer creator and subsequent detractor of his own work, "Pink Narcissus," James Bidgood died at the age of 88 on January 31, 2022. His death was confirmed in a Facebook post by friend and manager Kelly McKaig.

Bidgood is best known for his groundbreaking arthouse 1971 film "Pink Narcissus." Filled with eye-popping visuals and lush classical music, the underground homoerotic cult favorite was made over a seven-year period in Bidgood's New York apartment. It tells the story of a young male sex worker alone in his flat who fantasizes about becoming a variety of sexually adventurous characters.

The erotic movie was deemed "adults only" at the time and has since become a part of queer film history. Bidgood wasn't pleased with the final edit of his work and removed his name from the project using the moniker "Anonymous" instead.

Without the proper credit, "Pink Narcissus" was erroneously attributed to Andy Warhol and Kenneth Anger, two visual art masterminds of the era.

The erotic movie was deemed "adults only" at the time and has since become a part of queer film history. Bidgood wasn't pleased with the final edit of his work and removed his name from the project using the moniker "Anonymous" instead.

Without the proper credit, "Pink Narcissus" was erroneously attributed to Andy Warhol and Kenneth Anger, two visual art masterminds of the era.

Bidgood eventually became best known for his photography. Color-drenched photos of young men in near nothing became influential in the community, inspiring fellow artists such as Pierre et Gilles and David LaChapelle. He also worked with Christian Louboutin creating colorful high-heel-inspired setpieces and photos.

In his later years, Bidgood became financially unsteady and relied on his fans for support. In 2015 he raised several thousand dollars through crowd-sourcing to buy modern camera equipment and accessories to continue his art. Here is an appeal from the artist from that campaign:

Movie poster from Movieposterdb.com and wikipedia.org

One of the things that the artist loved to do was interact with people on social media. He would often give updates to his daily life and respond to those who cared to comment. His sense of humor was front and center and readers were appreciative of his spirit-filled posts. His last was published on January 14, 2022, in which he joked about literally falling out of bed.

The LGBTQ community has lost many of its artistic icons over the past month including fashion designers André Leon Talley and Manfred Thierry Mugler. Along with Bidgood, these history-making talents were crucial to queer culture and the advancement of gay culture into the mainstream.

Taken from TREY SPEEGLE of the WOW Report.

Taken from TREY SPEEGLE of the WOW Report.

Novelist Rupert Smith once said of Bidgood:

“Bidgood suited the closeted, coded world of physique photography. The mystery surrounding his work – he only ever published under the ‘Les Folies des Hommes’ byline, and concealed the authorship of ‘Pink Narcissus’ – was entirely in keeping with this transitional cultural milieu. Many of his peers operated under pseudonyms, trying to keep one step ahead of the law, or juggling respectable careers with their profitable porn sideline. Many like Bidgood, stopped working just at the time when new freedoms made possible the things they had only previously hinted at.”

McKaig, in her announcement of his passing, told readers that Bidgood's will states that he would like to be buried and a GoFundMe page is in the works to defray the cost.

James Bidgood (March 28, 1933 – January 31, 2022)

Instagram

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