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Cheryl Dunn | IWISHUSUN

Cheryl Dunn

Filmmaker & Photographer – New York City

Cheryl Dunn is an artist whose work is influenced by alternative urban and youth culture, documenting skaters, the homeless, musicians, graffiti artists and their processes.
In 1999 she made the film “Back Worlds for Words”, featuring skateboarder Mark Gonzales, which was shown at the Städisches Museum Mönchengladbach in Germany. In 2000 she took part in the “Widely Unknown” show at Deitch Project, NYC, and later took part in the show that led to the infamous book and film called “Beautiful Losers”.
Her latest project is the feature documentary “Everybody Street” about NYC street photographer legends such as Bruce Gilden, Rebecca Lepkoff, Martha Cooper, Jamel Shabazz and Boogie, amongst others. Besides showing the varied approaches of the different photographers, the interaction between the artists and their subjects within an urban environment is the main focus of this movie: beautifully filmed and accompanied by a great musical score.
The film will be on general release from April 25 2012.

What´s the most important sense to you?
Well, they are all pretty amazing but I would choose sight.
That is my most acute sense, and that is the sense that i need most to express myself. But sometimes I can’t read my camera speeds and f-stops in the dark so in those cases I rely on touch. I know how many clips to the left or right an f-stop is. Or I hold my camera up to my ear and can tell how fast the shutter is going by the sound … all those senses are there to support each other. Which is the incredible thing.

Photography is the first thing that fully engaged me and gave me a mission that I could work through for my whole life. Photography makes you really look for things. You study light and movement, catching something. Walk the streets and search. Observing these are my happiest days. When I am in the world looking at life.

As a creative person, what´s your vision for your personal work?
To get better at telling stories.To present truths, to make works that enable people look at things in a more open and thoughtful way. Collaborate with and support other artists.

What is the most beautiful thing you ever saw?
God that is hard to say. I usually think the most beautiful things that I see are performances or movies, things people make. All works by the choreographer Pina Bausch. Friday night I saw a sick short film by DA Pennebaker called Daybreak Express. 1953, a beautiful color Kodakchrome 16mm shot from the elevated train on 3rd ave before it was knocked down. I aspire to make film like this.

When was the last time you gave back and what did you do?
I volunteered in the Rockaways after hurricane Sandy. I drove food and supplies from the bowery mission in Manhattan out to a church in Rockaway and helped distribute them. I continue to make film and spread the word of Creative Growth Art Center, which is an art center for artists with disabilities in Oakland, California.
I am currently making a series on Pharell Williams’ Google channel called ‚I am Other’ about the artists of Creative Growth and the amazing art they make .

Do you have a vision to make this place a better one?
I think bad decisions, negative acts and beliefs are usually products of ignorance. Education and enlightenment is the key to tolerance and hopefully peace.

What´s your picture for IWISHUSUN?
My picture. It is a crowd shot from a series called ‚NJ Allday’, people dancing in the sun, loving music.