Among the many instances of the Downtown Alliance using art to spruce up construction sites is artist Maya Barkai’s “Walking Men 99,” going up at 99 Church (between Park Place and Barclay) in Manhattan, NY. Barclay gathered 99 examples of silhouettes from “walk” signs from around the world and lined them up in one big row.
The installation covers the wall surrounding a construction site in downtown manhattan, recreating each cross walk symbol in human scale. Included in the piece are icons from Tel Aviv, Vancouver, Florence, Moscow, Kyoto, Barcelona, Santiago, Beirut, Utrecht, New York and many others.
“Maya realized that not only does the symbol exist in every city, but she discovered that many of them are different,” said Ayelet Danielle Aldouby, a curator for ADA Art Consulting in Manhattan, who organized the project with her co-curator Elinor Milchan.
“In Dresden there is a walking girl and in Fredericia, Denmark, a soldier. East Berlin has a little man wearing a hat. She also has images of the silhouette of Hans Christian Andersen, the traffic symbol for Odense, Denmark, and Sophie, a pony-tailed female traffic sign in Utrecht, the Netherlands.”
“Maya established a Web site where she asked people to submit photographs of walking men all over the world. And then she put them together by city,” Ms. Aldouby added.
The Maya Barkai’s “Walking Men 99” will be on view for a year.
About Maya Barkai
Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Maya Barkai is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts’ Photography Department (BFA, Honors 2005), and has been based in New York City for the past seven years. She spent her military service in the Israeli Defense Forces as a military photographer for the IDF Official Magazine, “BaMachaneh”.
Maya Barkai is the photographer for different magazines and freelance editorials, including the largest news publications in Israel, and various international clientele, such as Penguin Group, Nerve, and ‘W Magazine & Guess?’ who chose her work to be part of Behind The Lens: Next Fashion Photographer’ showcase.
Barkai’s work has been exhibited in Israel, the United States, and China, as she is the recipient of the National Press Photographers Foundation Grant (2005). Most recently, her work was included in the Sony World Photography Awards (2008). [MayaBarkai and Walking-Men via Designboom]