Courtesy: Maya Barkai
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Men At Work NYC

New York, New York

Maya Barkai (

Surrounding the construction of World Trade Center - Tower 4, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, New York, 10006
Also known as:  Walking Men Worldwide™
Administrator:  Artea Projects, Alliance for Downtown New York
Date:  2011, 2012
Placement:  sidewalks
Collection:  Alliance for Downtown New York
Artwork Type:  photographs
Material:  vinyl
Description:  Men At Work was unveiled on 9/11 around the construction site of World Trade Center Tower 4, and is the second installation in NYC from the Walking Men Worldwide Initiative™. The project, which depicts nearly 150 iconic figures from street signs in cities around the world, was installed along 1,000 feet of construction parapets, stretching along the southern edge of the World Trade Center construction site. In its unique location, Men At Work has become a creative tribute to the men and women that have work diligently over the past decade to rebuild the World Trade Center.

For over six years now I have been collecting pedestrian icons in a photographic journey that spans around the world. The Walking Men Worldwide™ project explores various representations of the 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? These two-dimensional 'men', omitted of all idiosyncratic detail, repeatedly reveal themselves in multiple forms on traffic lights and street signs on every corner, as this photographic collage unveils a rich and fascinating world within the confines of a coherent, multi-lingual graphic vocabulary. The project attempt to depict international 'working men' figures from street signs in cities around the world, and offers a new look into their cultural presence.

In the spirit of NYC's multi-cultural make-up, the project was conceived as a collaborative effort of international photographers, each adding a piece to the collage through, an interactive platform I created to further expand this project. Professional and Amateur photographers from around the globe are invited to share their images and become part of this on-going project.

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2013 Americans for the Arts Public Art Network 2013 Year in Review

2013 CoD+A Awards




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