REVERIES—an exhibition of work by the highly influential photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood (try imagining Pierre et Gilles or David LaChapelle without him)—will be up for two more weeks at the Museum of Sex in Manhattan. The show was curated by Lissa Rivera and the artistic director was Serge Becker.
Bidgood’s work is so self-contained that it appears to exist outside of time. Historical referents and views of exteriors hardly impinge at all on his visual world; and yet Bidgood was very much a man of his era. He contributed lush color photographs to magazines such as Muscleboy and The Young Physique during their vogue in the early 1960s. He began work on PINK NARCISSUS in 1963. That year, Jack Smith finished Flaming Creatures and shot Normal Love, Andy Warhol began making films, and Kenneth Anger directed Scorpio Rising; the following year Susan Sontag would publish “Notes on ‘Camp.’ ”
As the ’60s were happening outside his door, Bidgood was shooting mainly inside, in his cramped Hell’s Kitchen apartment, constantly augmenting and revising his elaborate sets and compositions to approximate the baroque ideal he envisioned. — William E. Jones
Through September 8.
Museum of Sex
233 Fifth Avenue (at 27th Street), New York City.
James Bidgood, from top: Lobster (Jay Garvin), from the series Water Colors, circa early 1960s, digital C-print; Pan (Bobby Kendall), circa late 1960s, digital C-print; Double Image (Kendall), from the series Test Shots, circa early 1960s, digital C-print; Willow Tree (Bruce Kirkman, detail), circa 1965, digital C-print; Street Scene from Pink Narcissus (1971), circa late-1960s; backstage during the filming of Pink Narcissus, contact sheet, circa 1960s; ; Cyclist Sprawled on Tiles in Front of Urinals from Pink Narcissus (Trate Farell), circa mid-1960s; Smoking, Sandcastles (Kendall and Garvin), circa 1960s, digital C-print; Bobby Kendall Seated in Chair Holding Phone, circa mid-1960s; Pearl, Water Colors (Garvin), circa early 1960s; Mythical Woodland, Snake Silhouetted by Moon (Blue Moon), circa late-1960s. Images courtesy and © the artist, ClampArt, New York, and Kelly McKaig.