Kickstarter Picks: The City’s Lighter Side

July 19, 2011 at 6:00 am

Kickstarter is a Lower East Side-based startup that helps creative people “crowd-fund” their projects.

MetroFocus regularly highlights local projects that seem to make the best use of this platform and have the potential to leave a lasting impression on the New York area.

Bruce McCall’s “Love in the Time of Dendur”

The pitch: For Bruce McCall, and dedicated New Yorker readers familiar with his work, New York is a cartoon world where the uncanny becomes mundane, highlighting the irony in city life.

Bruce McCall is an illustrator most known for his New Yorker cover art. A group of animators would like to bring this cover art, which originally appeared in Mar. 2007, to life. Photo courtesy of iThentic.

For the creative minds behind iThentic, a Toronto and New York-based animation company, McCall’s world on paper wasn’t enough — they wanted to bring it to life.

So far, they’ve animated four McCall illustrations. The fifth, “Love in the Time of Dendur,” is another New Yorker cover that depicts mummified lovers snapping a photo in front of the reconstructed Egyptian temple complex at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With funds from this Kickstarter campaign, iThentic aims to bring this McCall illustration from the page to the screen.

Fundraising goal: $15,000 by July 27th, 2011.

Leon Reid IV's "Tourist-in-Chief" would transform Union Square's George Washington statue into a stereotypical tourist. Photo courtesy of Leon Reid IV.


The pitch: Leon Reid IV is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator who wants people to pay more attention to the city history that surrounds them. How? He wants to transform Union Square’s horseback-riding George Washington statue into a public art piece for the Art in Odd Places festival this October.

Reid wants to deck out Washington with all the tourist trimmings: an “I Heart New York” baseball cap; a subway map; and, of course, a camera. The funds from his Kickstarter campaign will help secure materials and necessary permits for the project.

“I’m not making fun of tourists,” Reid said in a telephone interview. “I’m just reflecting what’s already there in Union Square.”

Fundraising goal: $3,000 by Aug. 5th, 2011.

“New York, Phew York” (A Scratch-n-Sniff Adventure)

The pitch: It’s about time someone came up with a book for kids about New York City that smells as good (or bad) as it looks. “New York, Phew York” will take children on a tour through the many smells of the five boroughs including pizza, bagels and, yes, garbage.

“There are books out there that give you a great feel of the city and there are books out there where you can see what New York looks like, but there are no books out there where you can smell what New York smells like,” said Amber Jones, a hotel concierge and the book’s author, in the project’s video introduction. Hopefully the book smells better than the real thing…

Fundraising goal: $20,000 by Aug. 17, 2011.

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