Within every piece of art created by Dave Doobinin is a story – a story that always unfolds naturally and spontaneously.
That’s what the photographer, filmmaker, and musician hopes for every time he gets behind the camera or the microphone…to get to the crux of the story, whether it’s through a photo, a video, a film, or a song.
Doobinin stepped into the world of art, film, and poetry in the early 90s when he was a fashion model living in Europe. There, he worked with various film studios, learning about sound, film, and experimenting with a Super 8 camera. Although the next chapter in Doobinin’s career would find him working as a songwriter and musician, a seed had been planted and a love was born…
“Film and photography was always kind of there and lingering,” Doobinin says. “It was an important part of who I was.”
Over the next several years, Doobinin released eight albums, culminating in 2015’s The Left Side. That same year, he began experimenting with filming on his iPhone. “That’s how it started. I started to film stuff. I made a music video, it won an award, and then I made a film and it won an award – and that’s what jumpstarted it.”
An accident put him in the hospital, and as he lay there with six broken ribs, Doobinin had an epiphany that he describes as a “come to art” moment. “I decided that I wanted a career as a visual artist,” he says.
In the years since, Doobinin founded Follette Films and compiled an impressive catalogue of film and photography: he worked with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, directing and editing a video for her new book, We Are Displaced, as well as directing the trailer for The Reminders, a book by Val Emmich. In 2018, Doobinin premiered his award-winning short film, This Is Something, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Doobinin has also directed music videos for John Doe of X, Longwave, Patty Smyth, Bird Streets, Joseph Arthur, as well as Juliana Hatfield, who was also the focus of the Doobinin-directed short film Undiscovered Planet. He also stepped behind the camera for Gloria Gaynor’s “Back on Top” video for her Grammy-winning Testimony album. Doobinin is currently working on Bury Me With Soldiers, a documentary short about indigent veterans in NYC.
A prolific photographer, Doobinin has had his work featured in publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Recently, he worked with Fotographika in NYC, photographing Joseph Arthur with his art installation in the gallery.
As a street/documentary photographer, Doobinin is known for his innate ability to capture his subjects in powerful “disappearing of self” moments, as he describes it – a moment where the person falls away and their story shines through. He’s currently photographing everyday life in his New Jersey suburb during the coronavirus pandemic to capture (from afar) how people handle such unprecedented times.
As for the future, Doobinin sees it through the lens of personal and professional growth. “If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m unafraid to shift gears” he says. “Whether it’s through songs, music videos, films, or photographs, I want to figure out the best way to tell the story, to continue to tell stories that inspire people…and to do it in a way that takes it from documentary into fine art.”
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