Hani Shihada who is mostly known around New York City as just Hani has been doing sidewalk art for over 25 years and is credited with being New York City's original sidewalk artist. However, because no other artists have been able to endure the challenge that is New York City, Hani Shihada is also New York City's only remaining sidewalk artist.
Hani began painting on the sidewalk when he studied art in Rome during the late 1970's before moving to study in Spain. Truly a citizen of the world Hani is completely fluent in English, Spanish,Arabic, and Italian.
Since his time in Europe, Hani's love affair with art in the public sphere has continued growing and he has been breathing life into the sidewalks of New York City with his pastel chalk ever since. Hani makes all of his pastels by hand giving all of his artwork a one of a kind and unmistakable quality.
However, Hani is not limited by just one medium as he has been commissioned to do quite a myriad of projects throughout his prodigious career. Above is Hani working in the beginning stages on one of the many paintings that he was commissioned to do for CBS in conjunction with the 2008 US Open. Also many of of Hani's sculptures can be seen throughout the levels of one of New York's premiere night clubs, Webster Hall. His talents have been commissioned for projects ranging from oil paintings and acrylic portraits to advertising murals spanning the entire side of a building.
Wherever he is, Hani always draws attention.
Especially when one of the subjects of his public portraits comes by to pay Hani and the painting a visit as seen here with United States Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor.
It is also important to distinguish the difference between Hani and everyone else. What Hani does is not anamorphic. Hani's artwork is not stretched or skewed. It is not a camera trick.
Hani goes beyond anamorphicism to artwork that is 3-D from every angle, not just one.It is truly a sight to behold as evidenced by this recent three dimensional artwork commission at a convention in New York City for designer Daniel Hechter.
For the past two and a half decades, Hani, as well as his work has been featured in countless news articles, commercials, television programs, major motion pictures and advertising campaigns like this one for Nickelodeon's "Sponge Bob Squarepants" allowing him to share his gift with the rest of the world while ever furthering his groundbreaking and unique career.
CLICK ON SPONGEBOB TO WATCH HANI TURN A REGULAR PIECE OF NYC SIDEWALK INTO A MASTERPIECE THAT EVERYONE YOUNG AND OLD CAN ENJOY