Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Philadelphia - The Art of the Brick

Did you play with Legos as a kid? I did and still do occasionally - simple structures, usually buildings created with my daughters. Nathan Sawaya has taken the humble Lego and turned it into true art.

It's my good fortune that The Art of the Brick is currently on exhibit at The Franklin Institute. The beginning of the exhibition featured masterpieces such as Mona Lisa, The Scream and The Kiss which Sawaya has re-created with Legos.

While those works are impressive, it is his own creations that caught my attention. Below are my favorites. I tried to photograph the accompanying tag to be able to list the info, but with 3 summer camp groups of little ones wandering through also...well...a few were missed. Sorry about that!

 The Art of the Brick

piece count: 10,770
122 x 102 x 46 (cm)

"This is a self-portrait. I used dozens and dozens
of photos of my head from all angles to use as
a basis for this over-sized sculpture. It took over
a month to create this sculpture"

Facemask detail

Facemask side view

piece count: 10,980
33 x 198 x 75 (cm)

"In this piece we only see above the surface.
The viewer's imagination is permitted to fill
in the rest of the sculpture below the surface.
It took 15 days to create Swimmer."

Swimmer view 2

piece count: 11,000+
89 x 33 x 71

"Probably my best known piece. Yellow always
draws a lot of attention from adults as well as children.

Why? I think we grown-ups appreciate how
cathartic 'opening oneself up to the world'
can be for our souls. And the kids? Probably
because yellow guts spilling onto the floor
looks cool. For me, this piece is about the
metamorphosis I have been through on my journeys."

Yellow view 2

Yellow view 3
Red Dress
 piece count: 62,750
54 h x 34 w x 44 d

Red Dress

 Dean West
type C photograph
Kodak Endura
43 h x 59.5 w
Dress detail

piece count: 15,161
55 x 98 x 63

"This piece is literally my nightmare. My hands
are my most important tool. Hands took three
weeks to create. I used over 15,000 bricks to create it."

Hands detail

Hands detail


  1. Wow. Incredible creations. Great quotes too

    1. You know, Philly is only an hour or so train ride from you. Bet your little ones would love to see the Lego sculptures...


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