If you were like me as a child, Lego bricks were a constant presence throughout the house. Those internationally beloved plastic bricks were always finding their way into every nook and cranny of our home. You practically couldn’t see the basement floor through all the Lego sets. Even today I find Legos hard to resist (Luckily, among many other toys, Legos can be found all over Catalyst Ranch for creative stimulation.) While I loved playing with Legos, my type A personality meant that I also loved sticking strictly to the instruction manuals. I could probably count the number of times I went “off book” on one hand. I’d combine sets and different models often (my pirates loved hanging out with my medieval knights) but the endless possibilities within each set and brick intimidated me into sticking with what I knew worked and looked good from the front of the box. Luckily New York based artist Nathan Sawaya wasn’t afraid to veer into the Lego unknown. Sawaya creates epic works of art made solely out of Lego bricks.
When asked where he gets his ideas from Sawaya says, “Inspiration comes from everywhere. Often my art is a reenactment of my own personal feelings. I am inspired by my own experiences, emotions and the journeys I am taking. Also, I surf the Internet.” What I love about Nathan’s art is the interplay between the beautiful/emotional with the inherently playful medium. His art is also instantly relatable due to the medium with which he creates.
Each sculpture takes Nathan 2 – 3 weeks to complete and anywhere between 15,000 to 25,000 bricks. His largest sculpture to date used over 500,000 pieces! According to journalist Scott Jones, “Sawaya is a surrealist mash-up of forms and artists. Imagine Frank Lloyd Wright crossed with Ray Harryhausen, or Auguste Rodin crossed with Shigeru Miyamoto, and you start to get a sense of where Sawaya is coming from.”
Check out some our favorite sculptures below and you can catch Sawaya’s work in person at his touring show “The Art of the Brick,” currently playing in New York until January 5th, 2014. Don’t forget to chime in in the comments section and let us know what you think of Nathan’s art. What did you do with your own Lego bricks?
Learn more about Nathan at his website http://brickartist.com