From a 4-foot tall Empire State Building made with 13,000 pieces to an incredibly detailed honey bee and family portraits, artist Sean Kenney has crafted just about everything from LEGOs. The self-proclaimed "professional kid" spends his days building amazing artworks, models, and more from everyone's favorite building block. We've featured his work before -- he crafted this amazing 20,000 LEGO apartment renovation and this model of Chicago's Trump Tower -- and we recently came across his extensive collection of New York City creations. Kenney, who resides in the Big Apple, has been recreating his hometown in LEGOs for more than a decade. Here, we've pulled together a few of our favorite NYC pieces!
Sean Kenney is something of a LEGO star, having been featured in the New York Times, BBC News, Good Morning America, and more. He’s created public commissioned works for big names like Google, the Empire State Building, the Philadelphia Zoo, and Nintendo, and he crafts countless pieces for families and private individuals. Kenney likes using LEGOs because the bright plastic pieces connect with so many people, both young and old. He aims to spark creativity in viewers, especially children, who most likely have building blocks of their own to bring their imaginative ideas to life.
Kenney created his first LEGO city (as an adult) back in 2000. Based on Manhattan, it featured a 5-foot tall Empire State Building, a sunken subway station, the World Trade Center, detailed row houses and more. Since this 4-foot-by-8-foot city, Kenney has recreated many of the aspects with more attention to detail, most notably the ESB. Commissioned to be the centerpiece of the landmark’s gift shop, the impressive model stands 4-feet tall and is made from 13,000 tiny LEGO bricks. The top is colored red, white, and blue to replicate the building’s famous night lighting, and the base features a detailed street scene, complete with a city bus, tiny pedestrians, and mini yellow cabs. You can see the model for yourself in the ESB gift shop.
Another extremely impressive piece is the 45,000-LEGO model of Yankee Stadium. An elevated subway train — complete with a subway station — runs alongside the stadium, 1,700 mini LEGO people populate the stands, and tiny ads line the scoreboard. Kenney’s attention to detail make his pieces endlessly fun to examine. While the buildings are impressive as a whole, the playful details, like the Naked Cowboy in Times Square, really bring his art to life. Kenney’s Times Square model consists of 22,000 LEGOS and took him 300 hours to build. The model features everything you love (or hate) about Times Square, including hotdog carts, tourists, red double decker buses, flashing lights, and two working digital screens.
All images via SeanKenney.com