Walking man exhibit brightens construction fence in Lower Manhattan

Wandering around the Financial District the other day, I stumbled across these happy little numbers.  Three, four, ninety-nine.  Construction fences along three sides of the future site of the Four Seasons Hotel at 99 Church St., are boasting 99 images assembled by artist Maya Barkai.  More after the jump:

They are the Walking Men project -- life-size photos of the "walk" signal at traffic corners sent in by citizens of the world.  All 99 are different, and the project continues world-wide.  From the artist:

“The subject of this project started with one of New York City’s most familiar street icons, one that repeatedly appears in the pedestrian traffic light we meet every day. As one of NYC’s most recognizable figures, the ‘walking man’ is also an international celebrity, a graphic sign that transcends all languages and places, and appears in various forms around the world as an integral part of our urban landscape."

“Numerous traffic-light-characters represent the modern “Walking Men”. Standardized yet diverse, they commonly show us the correct and safe way of travel. Driven directly from the associative vocabulary of urban circulation, I use these conceptually similar symbols to create photographic compositions and juxtapositions that combine the cultural representation of cities around the world."

"As a result, my assorted collection of generic icons comes to life as a united group, now charged with a symbolic metaphor. The ‘Walking Men Worldwide’ project is a subjective interpretation that carries this message through photographic reportage, depicting a visual fragment from our daily reality.”
If you're in Manhattan, hop off your bike and take a look at the creativity and individualism of the cities of the world . . . all in light in dark, and all somehow beckoning us to a future of WALKING the streets of our cities.  Project is a part of the Downtown Alliance's Re:Construction project.  More images HERE.

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