Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who creates sculptures and mosaics completely out of Lego bricks. He had his first solo art exhibit in the Spring of 2007 at the Lancaster Museum of Art. “The Art of the Brick” is the first major museum exhibition in the world to focus exclusively on the use of LEGO building blocks as an art medium. CNN named it one of the Top 10 ‘Must See Global Exhibitions.’ The exhibit is currently at the Discovery Museum (click for tickets) in Manhattan through January 5th and I recently visited the show. It’s an amazing display, unlike anything else. Imagine a 3D printer building a sculpture but it’s all done by hand, brick by brick. Following are just some of the photos I took showcasing some of Sawaya’s art.
Upon entering, you are treated to a video presentation showing Sawaya as he discusses his inspirations and techniques. Afterwards, the screen lifts away to reveal an original sculpture:
The first room is comprised of famous paintings reinterpreted by Sawaya to add some three dimensionality to them:
A Lego stained-glass window leads you into the next room, which is Sawaya’s interpretations of famous sculptures, often at a 1:1 scale.
The next section is called “The Artist’s Room” and is original sculptures and mosaics by Sawaya. Look closely at the painting scene of the still life. Everything is in greys except the “painting.”
The following section is all original sculptures about humanity:
Following that, you enter a very dark room of nightmarish concepts:
A Tyrannosaurus Rex that uses over 80,000 bricks gets a room all to itself:
As you exit into the final room, you pass through a massive panoramic scene of New York:
The final room has a couple Sawaya mosaics but is mostly original creations by children and teenagers:
Finally, there is a massive building or mountain of bricks that you can sign and add to the heap. Sawaya promises to try to create a new piece out of these bricks and any he does not use will get donated to charity. My fiancée and I signed the two green bricks in the middle: