DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – The green space in front of Long Island University (LIU) in Downtown Brooklyn will welcome a new public art piece next month.
NYC Parks will unveil artist Leonard Ursachi‘s sculpture Bunker Head at University Place, the agency’s Public Art Coordinator, Elizabeth Masella, announced at Brooklyn Community Board 2′s Parks and Recreation Committee meeting. The triangular outdoor space on Flatbush Avenue across from LIU is owned by the Parks Department.
Ursachi joined Masella at the community board meeting Monday evening to discuss the work which is composed of rigid foam, medical gauze, stainless steel mirrors, and Styrocrete—a concrete-like coating. Standing 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide and weighing 2,000 pounds, the sculpture depicts a human head wrapped in gauze. Bunker Head represents “not only the wounded, but also the healing,” according to the Parks Department. The work features two shallow recesses, or windows, covered by mirrors.
“It’s basically about a closed mind, not being welcoming, not being open,” Ursachi explained of the artwork. “It’s a little negative but it’s positive because it has two recessed windows with mirrors, like all my work, so it invites contemplation on the idea of rejecting others. It’s a pretty personal piece.”
Originally from Romania, Ursachi grew up under the dictatorial rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. His experiences in Romania influenced the work. “That was my inspiration, being one of the victims of that dictatorship,” he said, “but then I tried to make it a little more universal.”
Now in the United States for 35 years, Ursachi works from a studio in DUMBO. The Parks Department has worked with the artist several times before, featuring his work around city, Masella noted. A similar work by the artist titled Fat Boy was exhibited in front of Litchfield Villa in Prospect Park from 2015 to 2016.
Ursachi’s Bunker Head will be exhibited at University Place until October 2020. An opening will be held on Friday, October 11 from 5pm to 7pm to introduce the artist and the artwork to the neighborhood.