2004 Honoree

Melanie Dunea


Written by Kelly Pace

There are women in New York City who possess an unwavering spirit with an undaunting eye for photography. Melanie Dunae is one such woman, a cognoscente in her field and a mover and shaker in Manhattan.

“The more pictures you take the more work you get,” she explains, as a connoisseur of her art. “Photography is a field where the pictures function as a nexus between success and failure.”

On the horizon we can look for a collection of photographs in a book entitled, “Precious,” a collaboration with photographer Nigel Parry. When asked how the two joined forces, she answered non-surreptitiously, “He’s my fiancé. But let’s not talk about him- that’s boring,” she adds with a laugh. Melanie Dunea’s online gallery can be viewed at www.mealniedunea.com. “Precious” will be available in stores this October or November, published by Powerhouse.

Dunea draws inspiration from the hectic streets of New York, frequenting museums, downtown Manhattan, and the subways. Dunea feeds off the effervescent energy and people of New York, allowing the city to embrace her artistic soul. She acknowledges the need for self- motivation and realizes that hurdles are constant. However, Dunea expresses her love for New York, describing the city’s manner of “filtering out the lame ducks.” She keeps herself and her work current with her collection of photographs.

This Chicago native has lived in New York City for eleven years after graduating from Boston University before a brief stint in Paris. New York seemed the next logical step for Dunea and she landed her first job at Industria Super Studios in the Meat Packing District. From snaking toilets to retrieving coffee, no task was too disconcerting for Dunea. “There are no challenges that are insurmountable,” states Dunea with simple candor. Photography is a passion Dunea felt since childhood, which explains her patience and perseverance as nothing but an effusive labor of love. And the best part about photography? “Everyday is different!,” she says.

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