Courtesy: Maya Barkai
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Walking Men™

New York, New York

Maya Barkai (

Site of the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel in NYC’s Downtown area, 99 Church Street, New York, New York, 10017
Also known as:  Walking Men™
Administrator:  Alliance for Downtown New York, Artea Projects
Date:  2010, 2010
Placement:  public spaces
Collection:  Alliance for Downtown New York
Artwork Type:  wall pieces
Material:  vinyl
Description:  Walking Men 99™ is a site-specific Public Art Installation, surrounding the site of the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel in NYC's Downtown area, a photographic collage of 99 pedestrian traffic-light icons collected from around the world. The project was conceived as a collaborative effort of international photographers, each adding a piece to the collage through walking-com

Numerous traffic-light-characters represent the modern "Walking Men". Standardized yet diverse, they commonly show us the safe way of travel. The Walking Men Worldwide™ project explores various representations of this universally rendered 'man', and attempts to examine its inherent conundrum; why is it that while we all consider these icons to be typologically identical, they appear to add such a unique character to our urban identity?

The creative process involved in my work is an example for how an artist can gather a group of over thousands worldwide contributors by utilizing the internet as a platform, and motivate people to take part in the creation of a collage that unites them all on one canvas. In doing so, it creates a collaborative process that diminishes all political agenda, and becomes a "graphic Esperanto."

As each figure is printed in humane scale, this public art installation becomes visually attractive, inviting the public to engage and interact with the different icons, as they often pose and photograph with them. Aside from its playful nature, the project can provoke multiple levels of conversation; about how each country chooses to represent the "common man;" in simple pictograms and what that means, but also about the surprising versatility of the icons and the individual stories that each city carries along its streets; In Odense, Denmark, the silhouette of native Hans Christian Anderson decorates each traffic light, while the Ampelmännchen figure from Berlin marks an important part of the city's history, along with several other friendly female characters from Europe.

2013 CoD+A Awards

01/15/10 The New York Times, Art & Design - “Bringing Some Whimsy to Construction Sites” by Carol Vogel

01/15/10 Curbed NY - “Downtown Alliance Attempts to Revive Stalled Projects With Art” by Sara

01/19/10 – “New York’s Architectural Eyesores Become Public Art” by William Bostwick

01/25/10 WFUV Interview – Cityscape by George Bodarky (Broadcasted on Radio 90.7 FM)

01/29/10 Yedioth America (Hebrew) – ידיעות אמריקה (ידיעות אחרונות) - “לאן אתה הולך” – ים המאירי

01/31/10 Ha’aretz, Gallery (Hebrew) – הארץ, גלריה – “אמנית ישראלית מקשטת את מנהטן” – ים המאירי

02/03/10 Ma’ariv, NRG (Hebrew) - בניו-יורק” – נמרוד דביר ‘Walking Men’ מעריב, תרבות - “צועדים קדימה: על תערוכת

02/07/10 Truth, Praise, and Help Blog - “Walk This Way” by Renee Ghert-Zand

02/09/10 Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center – “ADNY Transforms More Work Zones into Art Displays”

02/18/10 Digital Photography Pro Magazine – “Vision To Visuals: Walk, Don’t Walk” By Baldev Duggal

02/18/10 Channel 10 News (Israeli TV, Hebrew) – חדשות ערוץ 10 – המהדורה המרכזית – “מי מכיר את האיש שבקיר?” – נועה קולפ

02/18/10 Odense Online (Danish) - “Odenses Grønne signal basket besøger New York”

02/24/10 AM New York News, Briefs – “Global Street Crossing” by RJ Mickelson

03/04/10 Elle Decor Magazine, Design Dish Blog (Design News) - “A Design Icon Stops Traffic in New York” by Leah Konen

03/16/10 Womem eNews - “What Sex Is Your Crossing Light? Check the Mural”By Rima Abdelkader

04/01/10 Alliance for Downtown New York (designed by RED) – Alliance for Downtown New York Annual Report 2009

04/14/10 Ozon Magazine - “Walking Men 99 by Maya Barkai”

04/16/10 Prima TV (Russian) - “Our people in New York!”

04/23/10 Clarí;n Newspaper - Suplemento Sí;! (Argentina, Spanish) – “Caminantes, ¡hay camino!” by Tomás Balmaceda

04/26/10 Web Urbanist - “Walk This Way: 99 Diverse Men Walking in Manhattan” by Delana

04/26/10 (French) – “Walking Men, un symbole international” by Marlène

04/30/10 TrendHunter Magazine -“Crowdsourced Crosswalk Art – Maya Barkai Spruces up Construction Sites With ‘Walking Men 99'”

05/16/10 Marie Claire Italy Magazine (Italian) - “Traffico (Il)Limitato” by Rossana Campisi

08/09/10 Channel 1 – ‘Culture Today’ with Amit Cotler (Israeli TV, Hebrew) – ערוץ 1 – תרבות היום עם עמית קוטלר

09/15/10 Calcalist (Hebrew) – כלכליסט, פנאי – “פתוח לרגל שיפוצים” – דקל גודוביץ

09/22/10 Saltt Magazine (Russian) - “They Go Through Life March” by Irina Postnikov

12/08/10 AIA New York – e-Oculus Publication - “New Sights On Site” by Lisa Delgado

05/12/11 Daily News – “That’s Right, Pal, Just Keep Walking” Photo by David Handschuh

05/12/11 NY1 – “In The Papers 5/12/11″ by Pat Kiernan

05/19/11 The Wall Street Journal – Greater New York Watch - “Walk This Way” Photo by Associated Press

05/24/11 – “New Figures ‘Walk’ Onto Popular Downtown Mural” by Julie Shapiro

06/02/11 NY1 – “Your Weekend Starts Now 6/2/11“ by Stephanie Simon

06/04/11 The Wall Street Journal – Review, Visualizer - “Caution: Universal Icons at Work” by Lisa Kalis

06/21/11 The Jewish Daily Forward -“Q&A: Photographer Maya Barkai’s Walking and Working Worldwide Icons” By Renee Ghert-Zand

08/24/11 UrbanPhoto – “Walk This Way” by Christopher Szabla

09/14/11 Lower Manhattan Diary “Downtown Alliance Launches New Public Art in Shadow of 4 WTC” by jdolman

09/14/11 – “New World Trade Center Mural Highlights ‘Men At Work’” by Julie Shapiro

22/11/11 Yedioth America (Hebrew) – ידיעות אמריקה (ידיעות אחרונות) – “אמנות רחוב” – נמרוד דביר

01/04/12 Ha’aretz, Gallery (Hebrew) – הארץ, גלריה – “חוצים גבולות” – דניאל ראוכוורגר



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