Ever puzzle over the smile of a LEGO Mona Lisa? Now you can. Only, if you ogle at the exceptional LEGO reproduction for too long, the famous smirk begins to feel a tad more pixelated. If you haven’t visited The Art of the Brick exhibit at the Discovery Museum in Times Square, New York City, I highly recommend making a pilgrimage to see the best of the best in LEGO art and brick-built dinosaurs.
It will totally transform the way you understand and value play, and it’ll inspire you to build your own dream, one brick at a time. Or perhaps you’ll feel compelled to follow creative inspiration on a yellow brick road to a reality that you make. It is possible. And artist Nathan Sawaya is just the person to show you the way.
Sawaya, corporate lawyer-turned-famous brick artist, has been featured here on Bit Rebels before for his exceptional LEGO reproductions of a portrait of Andy Warhol, a life-size Conan O’Brien, and a Han Solo encased in Carbonite. Now he’s back with many, many more original pieces, most of them reproductions of famous art and sculpture.
At the exhibit, you can see a LEGO art version of Michelangelo’s David (that took 4 weeks to build, 12 hours a day with 16,000 LEGOs), a plastic pieced-together Venus de Milo, a staggeringly precise and three-dimensional version of Klimt’s “The Kiss,” “American Gothic,” a massive Easter Island Moai head, Queen Nefertiti, Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock, and so many more. The mind boggles.
There are several rooms to the exhibit. There’s a room for LEGO art and a room for sculpture. There’s a room called “Metamorphosis,” featuring original artwork like Sawaya’s famous piece called “Yellow,” envisioning a man ripping open his chest and spilling his LEGO guts onto the counter. There’s a dinosaur room with a giant 20 foot Tyrannosaurus Rex that took an entire summer to build, each bone pieced together with over 80,000 LEGO pieces.
Continue your journey and walk through an alcove with a New York panoramic landscape wrapped around a LEGO Statue of Liberty as she opens her chest to reveal a red LEGO art heart suspended inside. It’s stunning, and it’ll open up the world to you. Sawaya says that “art nurtures the brain.” This exhibit reminds us that play is a beautiful thing, creativity should be celebrated, and Sawaya is the reigning wizard when it comes to the fine art of the brick.