30 January 2013

Lego - The Art of the Brick

Kids grow up and leave their childhood playthings behind as they move into the adult world.  Yet even when they enter the workforce as professionals or other, some never lose their inner child nor their childhood passions.

Nathan Sawaya is one such person.  An ex-lawyer residing in New York, he never stopped building, creating and exploring with his Lego bricks.  His collection might have grown a little since his very first encounter with Lego some decades ago but his love for Lego has pushed his personal boundaries from childish play to sculptural art.

With 1.5 million bricks in his art studio, today Nathan transforms a simple pile of bricks into thought-provoking sculptures often drawing on inspiration from the world around him and his personal life, feelings and experiences.

The Art of the Brick is the first major museum exhibition that is focused on Lego bricks as the sole art medium.  The current exhibition in Singapore showcases 52 sculptures of roughly 1 million bricks in total, including the iconic sculpture called Yellow, a six metre T-Rex skeleton and the ArtScience Museum where the exhibition is being held.  A visual treat for both adults and children, the exhibition is highly recommended to anyone who appreciates or has played with Lego bricks.

Yellow [2006] - Representing his own metamorphosis. [11,014]
Swimmer [2009] - Whilst one can only see above the surface,
the viewer's imagination is permitted to fill in the rest of the
sculpture below the surface. [10,980]
Hands [2007] - The artist's nightmare,
as his hands are his most important tool. [15,136]
Torsos [2008] - Celebrating differences. [9,900+ each]
Courtney [2007] - A portrait of his partner. [4,125]
Blue Guy Sitting [2010] - I prefer the grey fella. [21,054]
Step Ladder [2009] - Sometimes when you look for a step up,
you don't have to look any further than yourself.  [4,054]
Parthenon [2008] - Sitting atop the Athenian Acropolis, it's a crumbled skeleton
of a building that still possesses amazing grace and power.  This Lego construction
gives us a glimpse of what it might have looked like in its heyday. [30,210]
Disintegration [2008] - Beware the winds of life that nibble away
at your sense of self.  Stay strong. (In my daughter's words: "He is falling
apart mummy!") [10,124]
Rebirth of New Orleans [2006] - Commissioned to produce a sculpture for the
New Orleans Public Library this structure is a result of selected children's
drawings received from around the country. [200,000+]
Dinosaur Skeleton [2007] - Spent an entire summer putting this together trying to
make it work.  Nathan wanted to design something that kids could enjoy.  [80,020]
ArtScience Musuem [2012] - 'The Welcoming Hand of Singapore'. [15,999]
The Neilsons [2013] - Having fun with Apple's Lego App at the exhibition.