Prepare to find yourself in surreal, romantic settings, enveloped with psychedelic neon lights and overflowing with flowers, dreamy young characters, and eccentric outfits. Today—through the lens of the new Midjourney V6!
James Bidgood was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1933—during the peak of The Great Depression. Despite the difficult times, his interest in artistic expression began to emerge early. At the age of five, he desperately pleaded with his mother to purchase a set of paper dolls that were notably expensive for the family—which she still did. James then crafted various costumes for the dolls and staged a musical with them, using an old cereal box to create a theatrical set.
In 1951, at the age of 18, he moved to New York to pursue his artistic dreams and find inspiration.
“The city was so clean, so bright and shiny then, the concrete sidewalks seemed embedded with glitter — they actually shimmered in the summer sun like they were like studded with tiny diamonds.”
— from James Bidgood’s 2019 interview with Another Man magazine↗︎
James explored a diverse range of artistic fields, working as an occasional set and costume designer, a window dresser, and a drag performer at the famous Club 82.
In 1957, Bidgood entered the Parsons School of Design, which he completed three years later with multifaceted interests that eventually led him to the realms of photography and film.
Renowned for his elaborate and meticulously staged photographs, Bidgood's work often featured young male models in fantastical, dreamlike settings.
At a time when displaying a nude body was virtually prohibited, he challenged the norms of nudity in art while remaining a true aesthete. James considered it more intriguing, charming, beautiful, and stimulating to the imagination when the body wasn't entirely exposed. He was an artist, not a pornographer.
“As long as whatever was not nude, it evidently was legal. But legal or not, it seemed to me many times sexier, far more naughty than had it been bare,”
— Bidgood reflected in the same interview.
His most notable body of work, the “Pink Narcissus” series, showcases highly stylized, homoerotic photographs depicting ethereal and androgynous figures in romantic, fantasy environments. The series culminated in the 1971 film “Pink Narcissus,” an erotic, silent fantasy directed and funded by Bidgood himself. Crafted in his small apartment—where he often slept right in the set decorations—it became a cult classic.
However, due to a conflict with the producer, who released the film without Bidgood’s consent, he removed his name from the credits. In the titles, the director was indicated as Anonymous. Following the disappointment with the seven years invested in shooting the film, he largely withdrew from the art scene.
Bidgood passed away in 2022, at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy of boundary-pushing, groundbreaking queer art.
Let's explore how well Midjourney knows the legend's style and what we can do with James Bidgood's name in our prompts!
James Bidgood's Midjourney style is marked by its vibrant, colorful fantasy and theatricality. Using the artist's name in a Midjourney prompt will almost certainly infuse the outcome with sparkle, flowers, colorful lighting effects, and a deep sense of dream. And, of course, Midjourney is well-acquainted with queer aesthetics and Bidgood's unique expression of homoeroticism.
In Midjourney, James Bidgood's style, known primarily from the artist's photography and cinematography, remarkably adapts to various artistic genres and mediums such as drawing, illustration, collage, sculpture, and fashion, demonstrating impressive versatility.
In blending James Bidgood's style with others in Midjourney, expect to see his signature visual elements like flowers and floral compositions, color schemes, overall romantic atmosphere, and, of course, beautiful young men.
James Bidgood, an artist who skillfully blended high aesthetics with kitsch and provocative themes with an air of innocence and naivety, is vividly brought to life in Midjourney. And Bidgood’s Midjourney style closely follows the neon look and feel, visual abundance, and elaborate details of the original.
Until next week!
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All samples are produced by Midlibrary team using Midjourney AI (if not stated otherwise). Naturally, they are not representative of real artists' works/real-world prototypes.
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