SEPTEMBER 18 - OCTOBER 23
Simone Lueck is a Los Angeles based photographer originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work is inspired by Old Hollywood, cultural icons and faded glamour; it is marked by an interest in looking at an American cultural territory colored by notions of identity and performance. Simone's first book Cuba TV was published in August by Mark Batty Publishers, Random House. It was accompanied by solo shows at Kopeikin Gallery (Culver City) and Clic Gallery (NY). Simone's recently completed body of work, The Once and Future Queens, features older women posing as glamorous movie stars. The series has been exhibited in solo shows at Kopeikin Gallery (Culver City), Musée de la Photographie (Charleroi, Belgium), and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool) in a show curated by Martin Parr.
2012 Richard Simpkin and Simone Lueck: Richard and Famous, curated by Martin Parr, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK
2011 CUBA TV, CLIC Gallery, New York, NY
2011 CUBA TV, Kopeikin Gallery, Culver City, CA
2011 The Once And Future Queens, Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium
2010 The Once And Future Queens, Kopeikin Gallery, Culver City, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2012 MOCA FRESH Auction, MOCA Grand Avenue, LA, CA
2011 Et si demain: Une proposition de La Galerie Miniature, Galerie Jeune Creation, Paris
2011 A Place in the Sun: Picturing California, SOHO House, LA, CA
2011 Redefining Hollywood: An Exhibition by Fourteen Photographers, The Factory Gallery, Produced by Fabrik Magazine, LA, CA
2011 Hyperlocal Identities: Cross-Disciplinary Productions, UCSD Division of Arts and Humanities Gallery, La Jolla, CA
2011 About Face: A Decades Turn On Portraiture, Hous Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2011 re:FORM: Art Auction and Benefit, Honor Fraser Gallery, Culver City, CA
2009 Critical Mass Top 50 Photolucida, Photo Center Northwest, Seattle, WA
2009 Descubrimientos PHE09, PhotoEspana, Madrid, Spain
2011 CUBA TV, Mark Batty Publisher, Random House (Monograph)
2011 Frankie Magazine, Australia, Issue 41 May/June 2011, CUBA TV by Ella Mudie
2011 Victoire Magazine Le Soir, Brussels, 5 Bonnes Raisons De Voir L'Expo Simone Lueck - The Once And The Future Queens
2009 Afterimage Journal, featured portfolio, Cuban Television Sets
2009 Capricious Magazine #10, featured portfolio, The Once And Future Queens
2005 MFA, UC San Diego
1997 BA, UNC Chapel Hill
Simone Lueck | The Once and Future Queens
I am fascinated with the extant performance that is played out through the ceremonies and rituals of every day life. For the past year, I have been making pictures of women posing as glamorous movie stars. The series, The Once and Future Queens, includes pictures of individuals who answered an online ad soliciting older woman to pose as glamorous movie stars:
Seeking fabulous, striking, interesting older woman to pose as a glamorous movie star for photo series. Please submit a photo and describe how you would pose as a glamorous movie star. There is no pay, but images will be provided. All types will be considered. Thank you! (Craigslist post, 2009)
The pictures are collaborations: Each participant is asked to provide her own makeup, hair and wardrobe. As active players in the affair, the women are able to shape their individual portrayal.
- Francine found a vintage Bob Mackie at a second hand store in Burbank. The shiny gold gown was allegedly once worn by Linda Evans on Dynasty.
- Claudia wanted to shoot in the park; she said she would like to pose as Gina Lollobridgida. She brought a blond faux fur coat to stretch out on and donned a matching blond wig.
- Mara bathed in a bath of bubbles at her home in Rancho Cucamonga (a glamour bath à la Brigitte Bardot).
The shows are fantasies, and the performance reflects each woman’s perception of glamour. Through these private exhibitions, a culture of faded glamour emerges. The women are understood to be motivated by the desire to perform, as though this essential desire had been left idle and unfulfilled. While posing as a glamorous movie star, each woman is, for a moment, fulfilling her fantasy.
In addition to glamour shots, the series includes captured moments where the participant is doing something and is unaware that of the camera. These pictures add context and provide distance from the fantasy and a more spontaneous and natural look at the women in their chosen environment.
The series reveals parallel worlds where fantasy may be the reality, where desires remain unfulfilled, and where faded glamour is glowing, harsh and beautiful.