Imagine how painful it is to step on a Lego, then imagine taking a bath in them. That’s just gotta hurt.
If you’ve been reading CNN.com, you probably read this article about Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya, who quit his job as a lawyer (in New York City? Probably a well paid lawyer) to play with Lego bricks. I, er, mean “art” with Lego bricks.
Clear plastic crates stuffed with LEGO bricks in every hue are stacked high against the walls. A computer sits on the floor, but it’s not functional. The red, yellow and blue replica is made entirely of LEGO.
In fact, everything in the room is made of LEGO; a cash register, a monkey, a bowl of fruit, a vase of flowers.
Here in Sawaya’s Manhattan studio, the 33-year-old artist snaps bricks together to create sculptures, big and small. His medium may be a beloved kid’s toy, but some of his signature pieces are incredibly grown-up.
CNN: How is a LEGO artist different from a LEGO hobbyist?
SAWAYA: I get paid! In all seriousness, I’ve tried to take LEGO in a direction it’s never been before. I’ve tried to put it in a museum setting, and I’ve created very large-scale sculptures that are on tour for the next couple of years. And that’s something that I think is a little different from your average hobbyist who’s really just building for fun
CNN: What does LEGO capture that other media do not?
SAWAYA: LEGO is something that almost everyone has played with at some point in their lives. I notice a lot of times when people go to my shows they want to touch the sculptures.
I receive many e-mails from people who have seen my work and are then inspired to get down on the floor with their kids and build. In fact, the museum show also has a building area for kids who are inspired to build their own artwork after seeing my pieces.
I will always defend Lego as an art medium not that removed from paint and canvas, pencil and paper, or clay and pedestal. That said, I’ve no illusions about my own abilities in the medium. I’m a part-time hobbyist, and my Legoing reflects that. Go to Brickshelf, go to Lugnet, and you will see some truly amazing Lego works.
(Not, mind you, that I’m not a sucker for compliments regarding Hogwarts…)
Oh, and Lego related (for the Romulan fan who might be reading this …)