Walking Men Worldwide™

We see them everyday – the “Walking Man” that tells us it’s safe to cross. It’s an international celebrity, a graphic sign that transcends all languages, appearing in various forms around the world, adding its own unique character to our urban identity.

During Art & About Sydney, our streets are adorned with banners depicting Walking Men captured by photographers from around the world as part of an exciting international art project, www.walking-men.com. Each figure is printed in human scale, both playful and intriguing, showing us how different countries choose to represent the “common man” in a simple pictogram. In Odense, Denmark, the silhouette of native Hans Christian Anderson decorates each traffic light. In Berlin, the Ampelmännchen figure marks an important part of the city’s history, along with several other friendly female characters from Europe.

In January 2010, the project made its debut on 99 Church Street in Manhattan in Walking Men 99™. This installation, which is currently on display, was commissioned by the Alliance for Downtown NY. It was followed by a series of installations, including Walking Men PERMM (2010), a public art installation in collaboration with the PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art in Russia, and Men At Work (2010) as part of the Bat-Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism in Israel. Most recently, Men At Work NYC was unveiled around World Trade Centre Tower 4 (2011-2012).

City of Sydney is proud to bring a new incarnation of this project to our city streets as part of Art & About Sydney.

The artist

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Maya Barkai is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts’ Photography Department (BFA 2005), and has been based in New York City for the last decade. Maya’s public art projects include Walking Men 99™, a site-specific installation on the site of the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel in NYC’s Downtown area (2010) and Men At Work (2011) surrounding World Trade Centre Tower 4, which was selected by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network 2013 Year in Review.

Read an interview with the artist on our new Creative City Sydney blog.

Locations Include:

George Street
College Street
Elizabeth Street
Oxford Street
William Street
Darlinghurst Road
Redfern Street
Glebe Point Road

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  • Ilana

    I am so looking forward to seeing this exhibit – I have been a fan ever since I heard about it so very excited that it is coming to Sydney!

  • Mirka

    Is there a banner from Bogota, Colombia ?

  • Walking Man Palestine

    How is Jerusalem an Israeli city, it is a Palestinian city too! Under occupation and apartheid it should be added. I cannot believe the City of Sydney would be complicit in this fabrication and Israeli propaganda.

  • Human Rights

    Jerusalem is a Palestinian city too. Only West Jerusalem is in Israel – why is the City of Sydney lending its good name to covering up Israel’s theft by occupation?

  • Richard

    I really like this. I just walked up and down George St looking at them all. Great exhibition and excuse for a bit of exercise.

    My only issue is that it reminds me that surely no other city in the world has such intractably slow changing traffic lights than Sydney! I suppose waiting several minutes while several sets of cars had right of way before me gave an extra chance to look at the banners.

  • wondering

    Is there one for Beirut Lebanon – can’t see it anywhere.

  • http://www.artandabout.com.au/ Art & About Sydney

    Hi all – thanks for your questions regarding The Banner Gallery. This is an ongoing project where people across the world are submitting photos and therefore there isn’t currently something for every city.