How did Hash Halper die? NYC street artist, 41, wanted to bring romance to city
A famous street artist from New York City, who was known for drawing beautiful chalk hearts on sidewalks died on Friday, June 11. Hash Halper, 41, was an old-school bohemian who ended his life by jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday, June 11.
“He really just wanted to spread the message of love,” his friend Sarah Frances said, calling Halper’s death a terrible loss for the city. “His soul was in spreading positive energy and love, which is why this is a tragedy.” Frances’ sister, Michelle Rose, stated that the hearts were like Halper “stamping his magnetic charm” around the city. It was no accident he used chalk for the hearts because it was childlike and he knew nothing lasted or stayed the same, she added. This year has seen quite a few celebrities end their lives. Rapper Chase Amick from Atlanta, Georgia, who was more famous as 6 Dogs, died on Tuesday, January 26. There was also the news of the death of former US Olympics women's gymnastics coach John Geddert. Earlier in June we heard news of the death of Lil Loaded who is reported to have died because he was nursing a broken heart.
“Everyone felt like they were stumbling into something that was whimsical but also something that moved around and was never the same and would disappear,” Rose said. In 2014, Halper began drawing the hearts when he worked at Kossar’s Bagels & Bialys on the Lower East Side. “The reason I started drawing hearts all over the city is because I fell in love with a woman,” he told The New York Times in a 2018 interview. “I wanted to infuse that romance into the city.”
Halper grew up in a modern Orthodox family and said in a 2019 Medium interview that he had always had a fondness for chalk. “In school, even in college, I would raise my hand to go up the board to write in chalk,” he said. Chalk and a canvas of sidewalk also kept him out of cuffs.
Even though he was arrested for drawing graffiti a few times, he continued sharing his art on the streets of NYC. His sidewalk art also drew inquiries from cops, according to the Times. That made him engage in discussion with the cops about their emotional wellbeing. “‘Why are you so upset about a heart?’” he said, according to the Times. Halper, on his New York Romantic Instagram page, had posted messages against anti-Semitism. His last solo show was on Thursday, June 17 the day before his death, posts on the page showed.
See some of his works here