Cheryl Dunye

Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers such as Tom Kalin and Sadie Benning, who dealt with gay and lesbian themes with a new directness and vitality. Dunye's work is defined by her distinctive narrative voice. Often set within a personal or domestic context, her stories foreground issues of race, sexuality and identity.

Dunye embraces a low-tech video aesthetic, and her narratives are peppered with deconstructive elements, with characters directly addressing the camera and making ironic references to the production itself. The effect of these devices, and of Dunye's appearance in her films and tapes "as herself," is to blur the distinctions between fiction and "real life." In 1996 her independent feature film, Watermelon Woman, was released theatrically to critical acclaim.

Cheryle Dunye was born in 1966 in Monrovia, Liberia. She received a B.A. from Temple University, Philadelphia and an M.F.A. from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts. In 1992 Dunye was a recipient of the Art Matters, Inc. Fellowship. Her work was included in the 1993 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at festivals in San Francisco, New York, Melbourne and Berlin. In 1993 she was guest curator of video for the Bad Girls exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. She has written articles for the journals Felix and Movement Research, and produced art pages for Parkett. Dunye lives in California.