Los Angeles-based photographer Simone Lueck’s series ‘The once and future queens’ is now on display along with works by Richard Simpkin. the ‘Richard and famous’ exhibition takes place at the open eye gallery in Liverpool, UK, curated by photographer martin parr. both artists examine themes of the cult and iconographic reality of the modern celebrity in addition to mortality observed through each artists’ marked attention to age in their works. Lueck developed the series ‘the once and future queens’ by sourcing her models from an advertisement posted on the community website, Craigslist, inviting older women to pose for her as their favorite cinema stars. the images were developed through a collaborative effort between the subject and artist as each of the women provided the costume, hair and makeup for their portrait with Lueck. Typical to Lueck’s interest in the investigation of American culture, performance and glamor the images of ‘the once and future queens’ are saturated with a sense of nostalgia as the women pictured embody realizations of self-image, identity, age and gender. Simone Lueck’s post on Craigslist read: ‘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!’ Lueck’s work emerged from a fascination with celebrity. Living in Los Angeles, in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, she sought and photographed older women enacting their long abandoned dreams of silver-screen stardom. Dressed and directed entirely by the women themselves, who were recruited via a personal ad on Craigslist, Lueck’s pictures drip with joy, wit, nostalgia and a tinge of sadness.