hans artist3
Photo by Harriet Flehinger.

Chalk artist Hans Honschar wrote a special message on 75th street and Broadway, but unlike his usual messages it wasn’t upbeat and hopeful. In the piece, which includes a drawing of an expressionless bald-headed fellow, he claims the NYPD took his art supplies and asks for help in replacing them.

We checked with him to get more information and inquired with the 20th precinct but haven’t heard back. We’ll update this if we do find out more.

Update: Hans tells us that his supplies were taken while he was in Brooklyn. “I was interrupted while drawing a signature heartflower with a chalk marker. It erases easily so it leaves no permanent damage to the surface.”

In the meantime, read our profile of Hans.

NEWS | 30 comments | permalink
    1. Colcircle says:

      If he lost all his art supplies how was he able to make this creation? Questionable

    2. Michael says:

      Seriously. You can now pee in public and smoke pot in front of a police officer, but they will take away your chalk? That makes NO sense.

    3. lynn says:

      I don’t understand this at all. The stores/delis on the corner of 71st and Amsterdam (where it intersects with Broadway-specifically Cafe 71) are overrun with violent teens every afternoon when school lets out and the police are doing nothing about it, but they have time to harass this artist? What am I missing?!

    4. James says:

      While I cannot confirm this, I’m fairly certain I saw this artist, or rather advertiser, peddling around for some time on a liberated Citibike. I find it difficult to appreciate his “work” and would be glad to see him move on.

    5. adam says:

      “what are we missing?” you ask

      ALL of the details is the answer

    6. James says:

      While I can’t confirm this I will cast aspersions on a website and not sign my full name.

    7. UWSsurfer says:

      Ace’s chalk creations are upbeat and fun.
      Many of them advertise what is left of our small businesses or celebrate UWS kids’

      This is police harassment.

    8. Liz says:

      That stinks. This guy has real talent. Rutgers Church on 73rd and Bdwy hired him to do some chalk art to announce theirs services.
      His chalk drawings really are a art form.

      He does look like a hippie. So, maybe cops saw it as graffiti. Or, more probably slow day — need to meet quota and bother some “allegedly” homeless looking dude.

      Too bad. Highly unlikely he will get his materials back.

    9. TG says:

      I think there are two chalk artists, and I’ve seen one of these guys yelling ‘abortion is murder’ at planned parenthood people on 75th. Seemed aggressive about it, and then wrote a few ads plus a few bible verses.

    10. Beholder says:

      He made this message with what, again? Wasn’t all taken from him?

    11. Independent says:

      I’ve seen one of these guys yelling ‘abortion is murder’ at planned parenthood people

      I take some comfort in hearing that; in the knowledge that there is at least one person around here who not only acknowledges such a truth but also has the courage to confront the abortion-mongers with it. More power to this individual, whomever he may be.

    12. EL says:

      This guy really is an artist. Check out his website —

    13. Bravo says:

      To Independent:
      If you are against abortion, do not have one. Otherwise, other people life and health decisions are not of your business. Go to Redeemer church to pour your heart ot.

    14. Amy S. says:

      You all complain about graffiti so much, what do you expect. Shame on the 24th and 20th precincts, leave people alone. Talk to Jennifer Toro, she’s part of the problem.

    15. Margaret says:

      This is so strange. Hopefully Honschar and the police can fill in the story for the public.

      Big fan of his sidewalk art and very much hope everything’s okay. Is Honschar homeless? The 2-0 always tells me they don’t have the manpower to enforce traffic laws, which comes across as completely unprofessional and indifferent to community safety. I watch dangerous drivers break the laws within seconds, every day – with massive indifference from law enforcement. It’s like they don’t recognize it as part of their actual job and a major community priority. This unfortunately erodes trust and goodwill.

    16. Steven says:

      Bravo: “If you are against abortion, do not have one” is not a particularly insightful reply to someone who believes that abortion is murder, as Independent presumably does, any more than saying “If you are against robbery, don’t rob” would be an insightful thing for Independent to say to you. Up your game; present an argument for why abortion is not murder. Not that this is the place for it, really. I just think that the line about not having an abortion is lame.

    17. Maria says:

      I literally witnessed a homeless man walk around W72 and Amsterdam last week with no shoes on and guzzling an entire bottle of wine while cursing out the pedestrians crossing the street. The cops did nothing after he stumbled into Mcdonalds. This is terrible. Hans- love your work on the UWS! Sorry this happened to you.

    18. nadine says:

      The guy whose website you referenced does amazing work, but it’s not the same artist as the guy whose chalk was stolen. I think you’re getting them confused. One does realistic chalk art that looks like paintings, while the other mostly does quotes and things like that. Love them both, though.

    19. Anita Sulverman says:

      So glad you,ve called the 20 th precinct. No excuse for taking his materials. I strongly recommend that more calls be made by folks in the community

    20. Nachograndad says:

      This is bad enough to belong on Yahoo…its not even a story yet…Why publish the story at this time? Why not wait for comment from the artist or 20th precinct? was this so pressing that it needed to be published now? “D” for reporting, “A” for photography.

    21. Christina says:

      In My humble opinion as well as science and biology…Is it true that a fetus is a form of life? Of course it is. It is made up of live cells, it is growing and processing energy, it has the capacity to mature and reproduce, it has a genetic system and so on.
      Will an abortion destroy this form of life? Yes, absolutely.
      Well then, isn’t an abortion killing another human being? No, absolutely not. By the third month of pregnancy the embryo, now called a fetus, starts to look a little more “human” as it grows arms, legs, sex organs, fingers, and toes. It is undergoing a lot of changes, but inside, its internal organs, muscles, skeleton, and nervous system are still very undeveloped. The whole thing is still only about 25 mm long,
      A Fetus Is Not A Baby!
      A fetus cannot survive outside the woman’s uterus without special medical measures. Its brain is still very unformed. Its lungs are not ready to take in air. It is still very much a part of the woman’s body and completely dependent on her bodily processes. It is not a human being until it is born, and takes its first breath. Several day embryo clump of cells. A fetus is not yet a human being. It is nothing but a clump of cells with the potential to become a human being. It is “alive,” but that is also true of all the other cells in a woman’s body. It has no life of its own yet. It is not yet a separate life from the life of the woman in whose uterus it is.

    22. Christina says:

      The comment above is for Steven.
      BTW WSR… what happened to the reply button. Isn’t Reply supposed to be a sub comment under the person’s comment? This used to be the case but haven’t been able to do that in a while.

    23. West Sider says:

      I know, so sorry about that. Tech help is hopefully on the way. WSR

    24. Christina says:

      Thanks WSR!!!

    25. Christine E says:

      Love the inspirational chalk art. But lately I have seen his work on bus stops and phone booths. Looks like paint not chalk. May be water soluble but he may have crossed the graffiti line.

    26. Steven says:

      Christina, I applaud you for making a legitimate argument.

    27. Margaret says:

      Did he get his art supplies back?

      It would be great to see fewer stenciled ads on the sidewalks – the little corporate ones, they stink – and more of Honschar’s chalk drawings. Honschar creations make my day.

    28. JIMBO says:

      Hey Hons—need help???—-GET A JOB!!!!!

    29. anon says:

      @JIMBO, the sidewalk ads are his job. He’s paid to make them. I would guess it’s not terribly lucrative but it is a job.

    30. Christina says:

      @Steven… Thank you!!!