Nathan Sawaya (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya, All Other Photos By Gail Except Where Noted)
In the span of three short years, Lawyer-turned-LEGO® Brick artist Nathan Sawaya has gone from having New York’s first solo exhibition comprised entirely of LEGO bricks to unveiling the world’s biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO art, ever. You can see Sawaya’s massive and mind blowing exhibit, The Art of The Brick, now through January 5th, 2014 at the Discovery Center Museum in Times Square.
I was lucky to be invited to a cocktail party and preview of the exhibit last week, a couple of days before the show officially opened on June 14th, and it was so nice to have a good amount to time to stroll through this nine gallery exhibit, taking tons of photos and not having to contend with too much of a crowd. What a treat! Here’s little preview of what you’ll see in this exhibit of over 100 LEGO Brick sculptures.
Edvard Munch’s The Scream
The First gallery you’ll enter is called Paint By Bricks, where you’ll see both flat and 3D interpretations of famous artworks such as The Mona Lisa, American Gothic and The Scream. These LEGO ‘Paintings’ represent an entirely new frontier for Sawaya’s work and they are very cool and painstakingly detailed.
Detail from Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring
Next, you will move into The Sculpture Garden, where you’ll encounter dozens of unbelievably authentic looking versions famous sculptures including The Venus De Milo and one of the Easter Island head sculptures as well as an extensive variety of African and Indian artifacts, The Sphinx and The Greek Parthenon. There’s also a fun example of a very famous modern art sculpture seen a few photos below.
This one is massive!
Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain
Sitting Buddha, India
It’s interesting how these LEGO artworks create a type of optical illusion, where, if you look at them and squint a bit, they look remarkably like the originals! Just try it for yourself!
Up next is The Artist’s Studio.
LEGO Peace Sign
In the Metamorphosis gallery, I noticed several sculptures that I had seen previously at Sawaya’s exhibits at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea. They were nevertheless transformed by being placed in this alternate setting, as is the case with Swimmer, above.
Self Portrait (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya)
Yellow (Photo By Erica Ann, Image Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya)
The piece above, showing a man ripping open his torso to reveal LEGO Brick organs, is perhaps Sawaya’s best known and most iconic sculpture.
The Human Condition is a fun gallery. I had seen a few of these pieces in previous exhibits as well.
You can only see that this “crowd” of tiny figures incorporates the image of human eye if you squat down to view it at eye level. Clever!
The mood, literally, turns a bit darker and more existential in a gallery called Through the Darkness.
It wasn’t easy to get good shots in this room due the darkness and the fact that a flash ruins the effect of the dim lighting on the sculptures. Small kids might be a little scared in this room if they afraid of the dark, so be sure to hold their hands.
Long, Long Ago has just one sculpture, a room-length Dinosaur skeleton! Kids will love it!
City of Dreams pays homage to Nathan’s adopted hometown of New York City. Everyone seemed to want to pose for photos in this exhibit’s penultimate gallery.
In the final gallery of the exhibit, It Starts with One Brick, you’ll see contributed works from kids and local artists as well as a few additional LEGO portraits by Nathan.
LEGO Portrait of Andy Warhol
Finally, a giant LEGO hand holds individual Yellow LEGO Brick which visitors can write their names on in order to be an official participant the exhibit!
Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick runs until January 5th of next year, so you have six entire months to see it, but tickets are selling out so don’t wait too long to schedule your visit! It is a fun time for the entire family and despite the size of the exhibit you can walk it leisurely in an hour.
Ticket prices are: $20.50 for Adults, $17.50 for Seniors 65+ and $15.50 for Children (4-12 yrs). Visit Discovery TSX Dot Com to purchase timed entry tickets and for more information. Discovery Times Square is located at 226 W 44th Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York, NY 10036. Exhibit Hours Are:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Friday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Final Entry to the Exhibit is 1 Hour Prior To Closing.