The Art of the Brick

The Art of the Brick — LEGO at Times Square

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Like many of us, Nathan Sawaya likes to play with LEGO. But unlike most of us, he has turned this passion into an artistic career. His sculptures, made entirely of LEGO bricks, have been featured in many museums and art galleries throughout the world.

The Art of the Brick

And, now through January 5, 2014, Discovery Times Square is hosting a comprehensive exhibition of Sawaya’s work titled, appropriately, The Art of the Brick. It’s definitely worth a visit for anyone who has even a small fondness for these popular interlocking plastic bricks.

Ajax and Achilles Playing Dice
Ajax and Achilles Playing Dice on a LEGO replica of Greek black-figure pottery.

Sawaya’s talent in using LEGO to create art is both impressive and inspiring. He is equally adept at re-creating classic paintings, like Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Klimt’s “The Kiss,” as he is at replicating renowned sculptures such as the towering Moai of Easter Island, China’s legendary Terracotta Warriors, and even a scale model of the Parthenon — all crafted entirely out of LEGO bricks.

Klimt's The Kiss in LEGO
Klimt’s “The Kiss,” crafted in LEGO by Sawaya.

But where Sawaya really shines is when he is at his most original — exploring the nature of creativity, the power of color, the realms of light and dark, the magic of perspective, and the mysteries of the human condition.

The Artist, Contemplating
An artist in contemplation.

There is a lot to take in during your stroll through the two floors of the exhibition, and if you’ve ever built anything out of LEGO, you may find yourself wondering how long it took Sawaya to build a particular sculpture or marveling at how much work, planning, and dedication to the art went into these creations.

Sculpture in Yellow LEGO

Right before you leave the exhibit, you are encouraged to sign a LEGO brick and add it to a growing stack. After the exhibit is over Sawaya will use these personalized bricks to create a one-of-a-kind LEGO sculpture, with any left-over bricks being donated to charity. You can follow the progress of this sculpture on Sawaya’s Instagram feed.

Collaborative LEGO Art
A collection of LEGO bricks that Sawaya will use to create a new, one-of-a-kind LEGO sculpture.

So if you happen to be in New York for New York Comic-Con this weekend and have some extra time (or need to take a break from the onslaught of comics), then swing by  Discovery Times Square for a little brick inspiration at Art of the Brick.

All photos by the author.

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