The Art of the Brick
Nathan Sawaya is renowned for his incredible, sometimes surreal, sculptures and portraits—all made from LEGO bricks. The Art of the Brick is a stunning, full-color showcase of the work that has made Sawaya the world’s most famous LEGO artist. Sawaya’s profound and unparalleled ability to transform the iconic simple toy building block into meaningful and emotional artwork.
THE ART OF THE BRICK is a global touring exhibition rated by CNN as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibitions. This exhibit showcases more than 100 imposing and fascinating works of art, made with the famous LEGO® bricks. All these wonders are the product of the wild imagination of the US artist, Nathan Sawaya. This exhibition has already attracted over 2 million visitors in North America, Australia and Asia. The arrival in Belgium of this exhibit, which is aimed at a wide audience, will be the European Premiere.
Sawaya has transformed them into tremendous and thought-provoking sculptures. Walk through art history, from classic works like the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Scream and American Gothic to historic works like the Sphinx, the Venus de Milo and the Thinker.
It’s also a journey into Sawaya’s mind as you explore some of his original works, including a series of life-size human figures, a 20-foot-long T-Rex skeleton and a special Cincinnati-themed piece created for the Cincinnati debut.
“These works are very personal to me, since they reflect my growth as an artist as I strove to discover my creative identity,” said Sawaya. “The museum exhibition is accessible because it engages the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts. Everyone can relate to the medium since it is a toy that many children have at home. But my goal with this exhibition when it first debuted in 2007 was to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before.” – Nathan Sawaya
Like most young kids, Sawaya started playing with LEGO at a young age. But unlike most kids, Sawaya never stopped building, creating and exploring his own imagination. The result has solidified his place in pop culture history and he is making an indelible mark on the art world as well. He has catapulted the LEGO brick into an art medium all of its own. Sawaya says he creates with LEGO bricks because he enjoys seeing people’s reactions to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. Everyone can relate to it since it is a toy that many children have at home.
Up close, the shape of the brick is distinctive. But from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines change to curves. It takes weeks for him to complete a life size human form. The long hours of creating a new piece brings him immense satisfaction. Besides recreating objects and buildings – which he does, brilliantly – Sawaya uses the LEGO as other artist’s use canvas, stone, or clay: to express himself and to challenge viewers to interpret his creations. His human form sculptures explore personal emotions, reaching an artistic level not usually associated with a toy.
About: Nathan Sawaya
Nathan Sawaya is an acclaimed New York-based artist who creates aweinspiring artwork out of a toy. His art focuses on large-scale sculptures using only LEGO bricks. Sawaya was the first artist to ever take LEGO into the art world and his touring exhibition, The Art of the Brick, has entertained and inspired millions of art lovers and enthusiasts from Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and around the world. CNN heralded, “The Art of the Brick is one of the top 10 must-see exhibits in the world!”
Originally from Oregon, Sawaya’s childhood dreams were always fun and creative. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks, and, of course, also played with LEGO. His days were filled with imagination. When it came time for college, Sawaya moved to New York City, attended New York University and became a lawyer. But after years of milliondollar mergers and corporate acquisitions on Park Avenue, Sawaya realized he would rather be sitting on the floor creating art, than sitting in a board room negotiating contracts. He walked away from the law and took an artistic risk on LEGO. Now Sawaya is an author, speaker, and one of the most popular, award-winning contemporary artists of our time.
Name: The Art of the Brick
Type: Art Exhibition, Sculpture
Location: Cincinnati Museum Center – 1301 Western Ave Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Coordinates: 39.109912, -84.537534
Exhibition Period: October 23, 2015 – May 1, 2016
Materials: LEGO bricks
Technique: sculptures and portraits—all made from LEGO bricks
Artist: Nathan Sawaya – New York, United States
Text Description: © Courtesy of Nathan Sawaya, Cincinnati Museum Center
Images: © flickr-icoNYCa, flickr-Froggy_Fotos, flickr-Dr Chester Chu, flickr-glancs, flickr-Karl Westworth, flickr-Paul Toxopeus, flickr-Bharat, flickr-Lenny Spiro