By Cheryl Dunn

Public Reception

September 05, 2020

Exhibition Dates

September 05, 2020 - September 26, 2020

Subliminal Projects is pleased to present LET THEM EAT CAKE, by New York-based photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn. As we face the 2020 election year, LET THEM EAT CAKE, provides an arching photo survey of the current American political climate and the Americana landscape as it withstands the story of a divided country, not from the perspective of politicians and their agenda, but from the people in the streets. In conjunction with the opening, Subliminal Projects has teamed up with Deadbeat Club Press, to release a zine highlighting images from the exhibition, now available deadbeatclubpress.com.

For the last 30 years, Dunn has lived just a few blocks from New York City Hall, a mecca for those who want to voice their opinions or protest injustice. Dunn has documented moments of history and glimpses of humanity, whether it was 9-11, or the Bush-era anti-war protests, Occupy Wall Street, or the Women’s March. Her documentation captures citizens as they manifest their constitutional rights and march their grievances from Battery Park to City Hall, also known as the “Canyon of Heroes.”

“A camera can be a shield and or a window. It can be a weapon. A weapon of communication.”- Cheryl Dunn

On September 11th, 2001, Dunn found herself witness to chaos when planes struck the Twin Towers in the attack against the United States. As the rest of the world experienced tragedy detached through big media, Dunn endured every aspect of the total calamity, visually, physically, emotionally, and sensorily. As a street photographer, Dunn had been documenting her daily reality. After 9-11, her trajectory shifted with a more focused obligation to document her reality now with agenda, bringing the viewers to the streets and, as a whole, to see the truth of the authentic American story. LET THEM EAT CAKE, takes the viewer through this narrative, designed to inspire reflection and ignite a public dialogue about our right to protest, fight for, and demand change. To advance this dialogue to action, 25% of the purchase price of art sales from LET THEM EAT CAKE will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to support their mission to realizing the promise of the Constitution and expanding the reach of its rights to all.



Cheryl Dunn is a documentary filmmaker and photographer who lives and works in New York City. She has spent a large part of her career documenting city streets and the people who strive to leave their mark there, from graffiti writers, artists, skaters, boxers, bikers, and protestors. Her award-winning feature documentary “Everybody Street” features some of the most accomplished NYC street photographers of the last century. Her work has been exhibited in various galleries and museums including, Deitch Projects, The Tate Modern, and the Geffen Contemporary MOCA. She has three published photography books – Bicycle Gangs of New York, Some Kinda Vocation, and Festivals are Good. Out this year will be her latest documentary feature, “Moments like this Never Last,” about the late artist Dash Snow.

For more information on Cheryl Dunn, visit cheryldunn.net or follow her on Instagram @cheryldunn.



The ACLU’s mission remains realizing the promise of the Constitution and expanding the reach of its rights to all. Beyond one person, party, or side — the ACLU dares to create a more perfect union.

From March 14th to April 11th 2020, 25% of the purchase price of art sales from this exhibition will be donated to ACLU.

For more information and to get involved please visit aclu.org, follow them on Twitter @aclu, on Facebook @aclu, or on Instagram @aclu_nationwide



Deadbeat Club is an independent publishing group dedicated to the production of small run & limited edition publications rooted in contemporary photography.

For more information on Deadbeat Club, visit deadbeatclubpress.com or follow them on Instagram @deadbeatclub.



Subliminal Projects is a multi-functional project space and gallery established by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin in 1995 as a way to introduce skateboard culture and design to the art world. The concept grew and found roots later in Los Angeles, at a time when many artists found themselves shut out by the “art scene.” Subliminal Projects emerged as a gallery that championed emerging and marginalized artists, built out of cultural importance to serve as a center for the community to openly express and spark dialogue about art, music, and activism. Now located in the historic neighborhood of Echo Park, Subliminal Projects continues to offer a platform for artistic exploration and innovation.

Exhibiting Artists

Cheryl Dunn