Mark Gagnon’s Walt Whitman Under the Brooklyn Bridge currently on view in Dumbo.

Mark Gagnon, Walt Whitman under the Brooklyn Bridge, 2011. Currently on view in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Mark Gagnon, Walt Whitman under the Brooklyn Bridge, 2011.

Articles on this work:

Walt Whitman Moves Back to DUMBO, in Statue Form (The Measure)

Walt Whitman’s Back At His Old Loafing SPot in DUMBO (Gothamist)

Walt Whitman, a Mite Yellow, Looks Out Over DUMBO (Mcbrooklyn)

Mark Gagnon built this sculpture in paper mache, painted it in day-glow paint, and covered it in resin to protect if from the elements.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

by: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Flood-tide below me! I see you face to face!
Clouds of the west–sun there half an hour high–I see you also face
to face.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious
you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning
home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more
to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.
The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
The simple, compact, well-join’d scheme, myself disintegrated, every
one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on
the walk in the street and the passage over the river,
The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
The certainty of others, the life, love, sight, hearing of others.

Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the
heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others
will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the
falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.
It avails not, time nor place–distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many
generations hence,
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the
bright flow, I was refresh’d,
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift
current, I stood yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the
thick-stemm’d pipes of steamboats, I look’d.


About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is the director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at Jamestown Community College in Western New York. She writes the blog "Scene Unseen: Viewing Notes" about visual art in her community.

3 Responses to Mark Gagnon’s Walt Whitman Under the Brooklyn Bridge currently on view in Dumbo.

  1. jerry belland says:

    what a poet! what a voice!

  2. xuchen says:

    I like it but don’t know who this is. Maybe it is too small?
    Do not know the statue’s region on which person’s story it is Why does it looks small in that space.and do not know why it is like someone”s statue? if can ,wish have some describe words on the statue and give some form decribtion on the sculpture.
    just only images and some simple words.

  3. Xuchen, This is Walt Whitman. He is a very important American poet and writer of the 19th century. He is someone that every American reads when they are in school. He is popular but not often represented in art. It is fun that he is represented here in bright day glow colors in untraditional materials (paper mache). It is a kind of “Pop art” work of art. Walt Whitman lives in Brooklyn for a time and wrote a poem about it. THis artist has placed a 10 foot high paper mache colorful sculpture of Walk Whitman a place where he once walked. Most people who walk in these places now know about the poet but have forgotten that he walked here. THe artist put this sculpture right under the brooklyn bridge–it is a funny place to put him, but also an interesting and smart place to put him. Hope this helps.

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