Chicago filmmaker Alex Thompson has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help complete a 15-photo male icons series featuring queer female model Zoe Lubeck.

CHICAGO—Iconic men of film, like James Dean and Marlon Brando, reinforce a powerful, white male persona. Chicago filmmaker Alex Thompson and queer female creator and model Zoe Lubeck have begun a photo series examining the relationship of empowerment and film by recreating iconic images of male film stars using Lubeck as the model. They have already shot the first four of a planned 15-photo series and are seeking crowdfunding to raise $4,500 by June 11 to finish the series and prepare the photos for gallery exhibition.

Having already covered such iconic men as Rudolph Valentino, James Dean, and Marlon Brando, Thompson and Lubeck together with New York City cinematographer and photographer Corey Stein plan to recreate the hair, costumes, lighting, atmosphere, and makeup of 15 iconic male film stars. “I have always been fascinated with Iconography,” said Thompson. “Coming from a background of Greek Orthodox and a family of film watchers, this project of examining empowerment through image is natural to me.”

Lubeck brings her own filter of understanding to the project. “As a queer artist, these images remind me of whitewashed audiences and film makers,” said Lubeck. “Few women are portrayed in such powerful roles unless that power is paired with sexual titillation.” By recreating these images with Lubeck as the subject, the series creators mean to give hope and idealism to a wider audience than just straight, white men.

The crowdfunding campaign will help fund the remaining 11 photo shoots as well as the photos’ preparation for gallery display. With Thompson and Lubeck established in the Chicago art community, and Stein an active part of the New York art scene, the trio is confident the photo series will be well-received and ready for distribution by the end of 2014.

Contributors to the crowdfunding campaign will receive special insider perks. Contributors giving $50 will receive digital behind-the-scenes photos. Those contributing $100 will receive digital photos in addition to one matted 8-by-10-inch print from the series. Contributors giving $500 will receive the digital photos and three 8-by-10-inch prints from the series. Those giving $1,000 will receive the digital photos and a complete set of 8-by-10-inch prints from the series.


About Alex Thompson


A Chicago-area filmmaker and actor, Alex Thompson graduated from DePauw University and is a member of the collective Runaway Train. Thompson directed and produced a 2012 short with Olympia Dukakis and Burt Young called “Irene and Marie” and a second short with Austin Pendleton called “Calumet.” He has also directed a web series “Humane Resources” with Austin Pendleton and Steven Callas as well as four music videos for Sad Brad Smith. For more information on Alex Thompson, visit To contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit


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