The Art of the Brick

Artist Nathan Sawaya builds incredible sculptures using Lego bricks.  His art has been displayed all over the world, earning him a huge following and well-deserved praise.  His current exhibit, called The Art of the Brick, is running at Discovery Times Square in New York City.  The exhibit opened in June and will be on display until Jan. 5, 2014.  If you have not experienced Sawaya’s art, you still have plenty of time to visit this amazing exhibit.

The Art of the Brick features various aspects of Sawaya’s work.  The exhibit covers several rooms, each with a different style and theme.  Visitors are first presented with Sawaya’s Lego interpretation of well-known works of art.  I really feel that people tend to revert to what they’ve been shown and taught when creating, and this section of the exhibit is a great example of that.  Sawaya seems to understand that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just tweak it and do it your own way.  His Lego versions of masterpieces present these works of art in a new light while opening the viewers’ minds to new possibilities.  Try looking at the mosaic style images from a distance rather than up close.  It’s almost magical how much clearer the picture is if you take a step back.

Vermeer's famous Girl with the Pearl Earring done as a Lego mosaic.

Vermeer’s famous Girl with the Pearl Earring done as a Lego mosaic.

Van Gogh's Starry Night

Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Dancer by Degas as a Lego sculpture.

Dancer by Degas as a Lego sculpture.

Sawaya also recreates significant works from antiquity.  It’s difficult to appreciate the scale of these life-sized sculptures unless you can view them in person.  The design of the exhibit lets you walk around each sculpture, looking closely from all angles.  It’s impossible to avoid wondering how long it took for Sawaya to build each piece or how he is able to recreate his vision with nothing other than the same small plastic bricks you can buy at any toy store.  He does not use any custom pieces or colors for his artwork.

Easter Island Moai, life size.

Easter Island Moai, life size.

Bust of Nefertiti

Bust of Nefertiti

Classic Greek sculpture; I really love the vase.

Classic Greek sculpture; I really love the vase.

Some of Nathan Sawaya’s most well-known Lego sculptures are his original pieces that illustrate his thoughts on human life and feelings.  These sculptures are so pure and lifelike.  The engineering that goes into these sculptures is just unbelievable.  I love how the lighting around the sculptures is part of the art as well.  This area of the exhibit showcases a different aspect of Sawaya’s art.

This sculpture of a woman swimming has fantastic lighting.

This sculpture of a woman swimming has fantastic lighting.

Love the scale of these figures.

Love the scale of these figures.

Another figure with so much life.

Another figure with so much life.

I think it’s no surprise that an artist who works with Legos would have a playful side.  Many of the pieces show this and make it clear that while Nathan Sawaya takes art seriously, he is also appreciative of the playful roots of his favorite medium.  After being impressed, amazed, and made to think by Sawaya’s art, you are made to wonder and smile.  Visitors of all ages can enjoy and appreciate this unique exhibit.

A very large T Rex is both fun and impressive.

A very large T Rex is both fun and impressive.

A portrait of Andy Warhol done in Lego.

A portrait of Andy Warhol done in Lego.

To learn more about Nathan Sawaya as well as see other examples of his Lego artwork, visit his website.  You can also find him on Facebook.  For tickets to The Art of the Brick at Discovery Times Square, click here.