Project image
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$15,530
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
123
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 6 2019 8:31 PM UTC +00:00.

$15,530
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
123
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 6 2019 8:31 PM UTC +00:00.

About

The History of Street Culture

Graffiti, as we know it today, was born in the Bronx, transforming the streets and subway trains of New York City almost overnight (literally). Henry Chalfant’s photographs and films, including his groundbreaking 1983 documentary Style Wars, immortalized this transient art form when it was still in its adolescence, and helped launch graffiti art into the international phenomenon it is now.

This September, a new exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts will honor that legacy. Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987 will feature hundreds of artworks from one of the most significant documentarians of subway art. Through the lens of Henry Chalfant, the public will be able to see the now largely disappeared works of legendary subway writers, including Dondi, Dez, Futura, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Skeme, and Zephyr, and Bronx legends including Blade, Crash, DAZE, Dust, Kel, Mare, Mitch 77, Noc 167, SEEN, and T-Kid.

For this exhibition, we’re going to print hundreds of Henry’s photographs, a video that includes 800 images by well-known and under-recognized writers, and a recreation of Henry’s 1980s studio, paired with a soundtrack of subway sounds. With your help, this exhibition will take visitors back to the center of the 80s graffiti scene, where friends and rivals built an entire artform from the ground-up.

Why Now?

The Bronx, and New York City as a whole, looks very different today from the city Henry was documenting. The historic exhibition and its programming explores the crucible in which this rebellious art form was launched, in the midst of a tumultuous time in New York City history. His photographs give us a rare look into New York life in the 1970s and 80s, offering an expansive view of an era when artists brought their world, and their message, to the street. Henry's work celebrates their voice, and this exhibition gives them the platform they deserve today.

Why Does the Bronx Museum Need You?

Admission to the Bronx Museum is free. 

With this Kickstarter, we’re looking to close the gap on the exhibition’s production budget. Since its founding in 1971, the Bronx Museum museum has played a vital role in the Bronx by helping to make art accessible to the entire community and connecting with local schools, artists, teens, and families through its robust education initiatives. Supporting this project means you stand with the Bronx Museum and its mission to make world renowned exhibitions and educational programs available to all. 

About Henry Chalfant

Starting out as a sculptor in New York in the 1970s, Chalfant turned to photography and film to do an in-depth study of hip-hop culture and graffiti art. One of the foremost authorities on New York subway art, and other aspects of urban youth culture, his photographs record hundreds of ephemeral, original artworks that have long since vanished. With Martha Cooper, he co-authored the definitive account of New York graffiti art, Subway Art (Holt Rinehart Winston, N.Y. 1984) and with James Prigoff, co-authored a sequel on the art form's world-wide diffusion, Spray Can Art (Thames and Hudson Inc. London, 1987). Chalfant co-produced with Tony Silver the PBS documentary, Style Wars, the definitive documentary about graffiti and Hip Hop culture and directed Flyin' Cut Sleeves, a documentary on South Bronx gangs, in 1993. 

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter gives the Bronx Museum the opportunity to reach a much wider audience than traditional funding models. We believe that backers from all over New York and the world will see value in building an exhibition about a Bronx-born art form in the Bronx at a free museum, and Kickstarter allows them to give their support directly.

Risks and challenges

This is an ambitious show, and it may be challenging to include 800 images in our video due to spatial and time constraints. However, our team is dedicated to realizing this goal before the exhibition opens on September 25, 2019.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank You + Updates

    Mention on the exhibition website as a backer and updates along the way from the Bronx Museum as we build and install the exhibition!

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    Dive in with "Style Wars"

    Digital copy of "Style Wars" & mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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    Henry Chalfant Catalog

    One "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987" catalog, and mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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    Hang It Up at Home

    A special exhibition poster, a digital copy of "Style Wars," one "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987" catalog, and mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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    Tour with an Artist

    Get an artist-led tour of "Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987"! Tours will be on a mutually agreeable date at the end of the campaign. Plus get a mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Come to the VIP Preview!

    Invitations for 2 to the VIP preview of "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987," on Wednesday September 25, 2019, one special exhibition poster, a signed limited edition "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987" catalog, and a mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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    VIP Preview + Limited Edition Catalog

    Invitations for 4 to the VIP preview of "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987," on Wednesday September 25, 2019; one limited-edition "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987" catalog with unique metal slipcase; and a mention on the exhibition website and the exhibition wall as a backer.

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    Get it all!

    Invitations for 6 to the VIP preview of "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987," on Wednesday September 25, 2019; a private tour of the exhibition for 6, on a mutually agreeable date with Henry Chalfant; one signed, limited-edition "Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987" catalog with unique metal slipcase, and mention on the exhibition website and the exhibition wall as a backer.

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    Get Your Own Henry Chalfant Camera

    During the run of the exhibition, Henry Chalfant will be all over the Bronx taking pictures with a few one-of-a-kind disposable cameras that get shipped for you to own, develop, and print as your own exclusive artwork, and a mention on the exhibition website as a backer.

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