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. Continue reading Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick Comes to Discovery Center Times Square→
It’s been a true pleasure to discover the art and follow the career of Lego Brick artist Nathan Sawaya over the past few years. I’ve enjoyed Nathan’s Brick by Brick and Red exhibits at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea, and now he has collaborated with photographer Dean West for In Pieces — something completely different indeed!
Geoffrey and I attended a private opening reception for In Pieces on Thursday, February 28th and were blown away by this series of minimalist tableau photographs by Dean West, which digitally incorporate Sawaya’s playful but realistic Lego sculptures. Please enjoy my photographs from the exhibit accompanied by narrative from the show’s official press release.
Lego Track Sculpture
The project is a series of tableau compositions based on ideas about nature, culture, society and, more specifically, identity. Identity as a cultural creation has been heavily commercialized and manipulated, and we prominently portray this through a highly stylized representation of contemporary life. The integration of Sawaya’s unique sculpture is key to the series’ narrative and aesthetic.
Lego Mannequin from Store Window
The images have been constructed using modern photography techniques, combined with specially sculpted LEGO® objects placed within the scenes. The combination not only builds on and accentuates the images’ aesthetic, but also compels the viewer to deconstruct each tableau, thereby exposing elements of the construction of cultural identity itself.
Lego Flip Flops and Towel (Nathan Sawaya at rear of photo on his Smart Phone)
Isolated individuals stand in recognizable but chillingly empty minimalist scenes with geometrical design, derived from common features of the American landscape. Their averted eyes gaze into nothingness, and a strange feeling of aloofness and displacement reverberates. Unique talent has been incorporated into the tableaux, with elongated limbs, referencing society’s idealized bodies.
A dress made of LEGO bricks looks more like pixels breaking off into the blowing wind. Juxtaposed against a desolate, American realist environment, the images are appealing, yet eerily ambiguous- a very engaging and unforgettable effect.
Dress Close Up
Lego Red Dress
Referencing the aesthetic of the American Postcard in both the style and content- the series has been color graded with pastels such as warm yellows and pale blues. The imagery, from a distance, appears entirely photographic. However, as the viewer begins to digest the images, the series reveals its brick by brick fabricated construction. The [layered] process also represents the direct processes involved with digital photography today. Clear references to pixilation and technology are apparent through stylized manipulation and digital enhancements.
Cloud Constellation from Hotel
In Pieces by Nathan Sawaya and Dean West will be on Exhibit at Avant Gallery (at the Openhouse Gallery), Located at 201 Mulberry Street (Between Kenmare and Spring) through March 17th, 2013. The exhibition will be open daily from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
Here I am looking large in my many layers of outerwear posing with LEGO Brick artist Nathan Sawaya and one of his amazing sculptures that you can see now at the Agora Gallery on West 25th Street. Nathan’s current exhibit, Red, is up until December 14th, 2010 so make sure to see it while you can!
As I said in a status update posted to my FaceBook page earlier today, a Good Friday is any Friday that I don’t have to go in to the office! Good Friday! Today I celebrated Jesus dieing for my sins by going with Geoffrey to see some rad LEGO art on exhibit over at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea. As the title would suggest, Brick by Brick: the LEGO Brick sculpture of Nathan Sawaya features over a dozen amazing sculptures created from tiny LEGO bricks, and marks the first solo exhibition comprised entirely of LEGO bricks in New York.
While Sawaya’s work is provocative and often quite dark – particularly a couple of sculptures depicting human figures kneeling over disintegrated or missing limbs – today the Agora Gallery was packed with families toting young children. I think that the nature of the medium used for these brightly colored, monochromatic works prevents them from being anything that kids shouldn’t see. You can view pictures of most of the exhibited works at this link, though the pictures fail to do them justice, as they are quite stunning. Admission is free, but only ten people are allowed into gallery at one time. So you may have to wait a few minutes before they let you in, but trust me; it’s worth it.
The Agora Gallery is located at 530 West 25th Street (East of 11th Avenue) and the exhibit runs Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm through April 13th.