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Drift: Leonard Ursachi

Drift, by Dumbo-based artist Leonard Ursachi, was installed in the Dumbo Archway from December 2016 - March 2017. 

“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.

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.”

Thanks to NYC DOT Art for helping to bring these sculptures to Dumbo.