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How Many LEGO Would It Take to Build These Sci-Fi Megastructures?

Lego Infographic

Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick Comes to Discovery Center Times Square

Nathan Working In Studio2
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.

Art of the Brick Exhibit Signage

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.

Munch's The Scream
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
Detail from Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring

Venus De Milo

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.

More Brick Art After the Jump!

Continue reading Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick Comes to Discovery Center Times Square

Dean West and Nathan Sawaya Present In Pieces

In Pieces Exhibit Signage
All Photos By Gail

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.

Train Depot Photo
Train

Lego Train Tracks
Lego Track Sculpture

Nathan Close up from Train Depot Photo
Nathan Sawaya!

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.

Bus Stop Photo
Bus

Lego Mannequin
Lego Mannequin from Store Window

Lego Dog
Lego Dog

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.

Pool Photo
Pool

Lego Flip Flops and Towel
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.

Movie Marquee Red Dress Photo
Dress

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.

Girl In Red Dress Close Up
Dress Close Up

Red Lego Dress Rear Shot
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.

Hotel Photo
Hotel

Cloud Constellation
Cloud Constellation from Hotel

Cloud Underside
Cloud Detail

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.
Avant Gallery Shot

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II at LACMA

LACMA Chris Burden Metropolis 2 Overhead View
Photo By Gail

While I was at the LA County Museum of Art this past December to see the Stanley Kubrick retrospective, I also enjoyed the experience of stumbling upon Chris Burden’s room-sized kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II – the focal points of which are 1,100 Hot Wheels cars.

Burden finished this scale cityscape, which took four years to build, in the Summer of 2011 and it was installed at LACMA that Fall. Although you can walk completely around Metropolis II from the floor of the exhibit room, you really need to climb the stairs to the catwalk-like balcony to see the action from above and fully appreciate what Burden was trying to convey. The frenetic movement of the tiny cars is hypnotizing.

In a statement at the exhibit’s opening, Burden expressed his hypothesis that, “The future of automobile transportation is that there won’t be drivers anymore.” The 1,100 customized Hot Wheels cars whirring through a city of building-block skyscrapers is a scale model of Burden’s vision for L.A.’s future: Cars that are swiftly autopiloted along pre-determined routes, moving ten times faster than they do today.

The cars are dramatically lifted eight feet in the air by a magnetized conveyor belt, then dispatched through the city on a roller coaster network of plastic roadways. The buildings are constructed with Legos and Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets and stacking slotted cards. A dozen out-of-the-box electric trains chug casually through the sculpture.

Due to the physical strain on both the sculpture and the fact that it must be physically monitored at all times to watch for “pileups,” Metropolis II runs for only one hour at a time, with a one hour break between sessions, from Friday through Sunday. The viewing schedule is below and no reservations are required:

Fridays
11:30–12:30 PM; 1:30–2:30 PM; 3:30–4:30 PM; 5:30–6:30 PM

Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am–11:30 PM; 12:30–1:30 PM; 2:30–3:30 PM; 4:30–5:30 PM

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036.

Citizen Brick’s Chemistry Enthusiast

Lego Walter White Citizen Brick Chemist

Art Toy Enthusiasts Citizen Brick take the LEGO platform and put out small-run figures that you’ll probably never see LEGO release. They’ve recently released a new figure that looks an awful like the main character from one of my favorite shows. Just read the description:

“This minifig knows that science is serious business best left to professionals. In his stylish hazmat suit, Citizen Brick’s new Chemistry Enthusiast always puts safety first while cooking up the purest product on the market.”

So adorable!

Thanks to Plastic & Plush For The Tip!

Citizen Brick’s Chemistry Enthusiast

Lego Walter White Citizen Brick Chemist

Art Toy Enthusiasts Citizen Brick take the LEGO platform and put out small-run figures that you’ll probably never see LEGO release. They’ve recently released a new figure that looks an awful like the main character from one of my favorite shows. Just read the description:

“This minifig knows that science is serious business best left to professionals. In his stylish hazmat suit, Citizen Brick’s new Chemistry Enthusiast always puts safety first while cooking up the purest product on the market.”

So adorable!

Thanks to Plastic & Plush For The Tip!

Limited-Edition Freddie Mercury Lego Character to Raise Funds in HIV Fight

Freddie Mercury Lego
Image Source

November 24th, 2012 marks the 21st anniversary of the passing of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury. An interesting way to honor Freddie’s enduring status as a Rock legend and Gay icon might be to purchase a limited edition print portrait of the Freddie Mercury Lego character seen above, which is being sold by Little Artists for the tidy sum of $436! Ten percent of the profits from each portrait sold will be donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust, one of Great Britain’s biggest sexual health organizations. Read more about the story at This Link.

Thanks to Ivy Vale for The Tip!