Until April next year you can catch the work of corporate lawyer-turned-LEGO sculptor Nathan Sawaya, who will be exhibiting his ART OF THE BRICK installation at the Old Truman Brewery in London. Created with millions of the colourful Danish play-bricks, on show are pieces ranging from conceptual renderings of others’ experiences (a parent holding a deceased child is a heart-wrenching example) to replicas of classic works (such as Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring) and even that famous giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. Sawyer says of the latter that, at 20 feet long, and the largest piece in the exhibition, “It took me an entire summer to build. When I did my very first exhibition I was amazed how many kids came to visit. They’d never been to an art museum before but they were there because this art was made out of their favourite toy. I wanted to give back to those kids so thought long and hard about what they really love – and they love dinosaurs.”
His sculptures have already graced spaces as varied as Bill Clinton’s presidential library, Lady Gaga’s latest album and the New Orleans’ public monument to Hurricane Katrina. The Art of the Brick® shows have toured around North America, Asia and Australia, and are the first of their kind in focusing exclusively on LEGO® bricks. It’s an experience that can be appreciated across the ages and interests, so bring someone who you can never agree within what to go and see and you’re guaranteed a pretty jaw-dropping couple of hours.
“LEGO is universal. So many people enjoy it, from all different walks of life, all different ages, all different cultures. When I was in Africa, I had LEGO bricks with me and I met some people who had never heard of LEGO, they had never seen it before and yet as soon as I gave them a few bricks, they immediately got it. Even when I was in China and I couldn’t speak the language, I still had the universal language of LEGO and I was able to communicate just through a brick. Even the fact that you can take LEGO bricks from thirty years ago and they still snap together with the same new LEGO brick that comes out, I mean what type of product can span generations like that, there is something really special to it.”
We can only agree, Nathan. Make sure you get down to the Old Truman before this one escapes…