Sawaya has come to be known as one of the leading LEGO artists in the world, pushing the limits of the toy brick with his extremely intricate and detailed sculptures. For “The Art of the Brick,” Sawaya tackled the topic of art history, using the modern day blocks to render works from ancient civilizations up to masters like Monet, Da Vinci and Cezanne.
Visitors to the gallery will be greeted by a colorful showcase of LEGO masterworks. Sawaya has rendered some of the works, such as those depicting paintings, with flat LEGOs, creating pixelated versions of the original pieces. Rembrandt’s famous lighting is captured in a LEGO “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” with gradating hues of brown and cream LEGOS, a plastic bubble taking the place of the storied pearl. Van Gogh’s swirling “Starry Night” and “Mona Lisa” look almost accurate when standing at a distance, but up close, the blocky LEGOS are arranged in a grid. Klimt’s “The Kiss” and “Whistler’s Mother” were taken to the next dimension, built into oversized LEGO sculptures that stand over four feet tall in 3 dimensions.
Further into the galleries, we found Sawaya’s sculpture garden, with LEGO renditions of famous works like Michelangelo’s David, a bust of Queen Nefertiti, the Sphinx and a giant Easter Island Maoi face. Beyond the art galleries, Sawaya shows off some of his own creations, with beautiful life-size sculptures of people, skeletons, and even a tribute to his partner.
Each of Sawaya’s intricate sculptures are paired with a brief artist’s statement and a count of how many LEGOs he used for each.
Check out our pics of the exhibition on our Flickr page!
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat