During her days of ruling the government of Britain, Margaret Thatcher probably would never have imagined a few decades later she would be stamped on the streets of Manhattan. But that is exactly what has happened. Sidewalk portraits have been commission by Upper West Sider, Michael Schrage, MIT business innovation lecturer and Harvard Business Review blogger. He commissioned artist Hani Shihada for the job as he wanted to spotlight philosophers “who represent values and ideas I care about.” Other figures on the streets include Friedrich Hayek (Austrian economist) near West 112th Street and Thomas Sowell (American economist) on West 115th Street.
Shihada has been painting on sidewalks for over two-and-a-half decades and has developed a reputation for being the sidewalk portrait person, having done one of Ted Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor and President Barack Obama. According to Schrage, he doesn’t see his move as political, but more fun. He said, "I thought it would be great fun and a wonderful way to reinforce the Upper West Side 'brand' as a place where real intellectuals with real ideas can be debated and discussed.”
So next time you’re in Manhattan, take a stroll down Broadway close to West 106th Street and see if you can walk atop of Margaret Thatcher’s face.
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