Before he could finish it, NYC street chalk artist Hani Shihada’s latest work was washed off the sidewalk: Someone in the luxury building didn’t like Haitian children on a tobacco farm on their street. Now all that’s left are washed out outlines.
The resident manager of a luxury high rise on Broadway and 87th Street did the deed, but hasn’t told why. An unnamed bell boy said the residents complained about it. Shihada tells that the only complaint he got was someone grumbling at him about why he “always” draws black people… really?
The artist is heartbroken:
I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s unbelievable what they did. I can’t sleep.
It is chalk, so this kind of end isn’t too shocking, considering the physically ephemeral medium. The artist spends eight to 10 hours a day squatting on his dusty knees for weeks chalking out each work. If some shmancy resident displayed annoyance, the least they could do is call the artist’s number in the drawing before smearing off the unfinished drawing.