Art + Culture

Drift drifts into the Archway

DUMBO, Brooklyn, December 1, 2016 — DUMBO artist Leonard Ursachi’s newest installation, “Drift”, is in residence under the Archway in DUMBO, across from the Pearl Street Triangle, starting today. The installation is presented by the DUMBO Improvement District in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation Art Program. It will remain in the Archway until the end of March 2017.

[For high res images, click here.]

“Drift” was inspired by Ursachi’s experiences “drifting” around the world as an artist, having fled his native country of Romania during the Communist dictatorship at a young age, and then spending time living in Italy, studying in France at the Sorbonne, working in Canada, and finally settling in DUMBO over twenty five years ago. The piece was constructed in Ursachi’s studio on Plymouth Street in the heart of DUMBO.

“Drift” began with a piece of hollowed out driftwood that Ursachi collected several years ago from the East River, from which he cast seven identical cement sculptures.

“They’re all the same, but different. Depending on the angle, each [piece] has a different color, different texture, different light,” said Leonard. “‘Drift’ seems to transform and reinvent itself.”

The installation’s platform is made from casts from a few pieces of the original old pier at the end of Anchorage Place in DUMBO, where an old barge was docked.

Much of Ursachi’s work, including “Drift”, has themes of transformation and the external environment. Ursachi is also an advocate for public art as a means of bringing a community together, and art having site-specific significance, making the setting of the Archway an important component of viewing “Drift” for DUMBO residents and visitors alike.

“The Archway, beyond its architectural beauty, is also a conduit, a community gathering place, a structural element in a bridge that spans the East River and connects Brooklyn to Manhattan, and a vivid emblem of the city and its history,” said Ursachi. “In this site, ‘Drift’ echoes the poetry and drama of the river, as people and time flow endlessly over and around it.”

“As we enter the holiday season, we hope that ‘Drift’ will create another shared experience for the DUMBO community and visitors to the area,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District. “We’re thrilled to work with Leonard – an artist who has called DUMBO home more than 25 years. We love to work with local artists – especially on projects inspired DUMBO’s unique environs.”

Ursachi has exhibited his work internationally, including a solo exhibition in 2008 at MNAC, Romania’s National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest. He has exhibited temporary public art in Prospect Park, Brooklyn; Duarte Square, Manhattan; and Oak Park, Illinois. Time Out New York named Ursachi’s sculpture, Fat Boy, among the best public sculptures to see in New York in 2015.

About the DUMBO Improvement District
The DUMBO Improvement District, founded in 2006, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and promoting DUMBO, Brooklyn—a bustling enclave on the waterfront where quintessential old New York charm meets creative Brooklyn at its very best. The DUMBO Improvement District showcases DUMBO as a world-class destination, advocating on behalf of DUMBO’s businesses, property owners and residents, and amplifying its creative and innovative vibe through The Archway programming, public art, free WiFi, public space maintenance and the #DUMBOVIP card, among other initiatives. For more information, visit http://dumbo.is.

About NYC Department of Transportation Art Program
Launched in October 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The Program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections, and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within four program tracks: Community Commissions, Barrier Beautification, Site to Site, and Arterventions.  For more information, visit nyc.gov/dotart.

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