Bathed in pools of light, the works of art at The Art Of The Brick exhibition – made entirely out of LEGO blocks – will leave you smiling and thinking. It also might excite you enough to buy some LEGO and begin creating.
On show at The Zone in Rosebank, The Art of the Brick is an showcase of artwork by New York-based Nathan Sawaya. The pieces are fun and playful, yet also profound and full of ideas.
As you make your way through the show, you’re greeted by amazing creations that play with scale and texture in one room, then jaw-dropping recreations of classical sculptures and famous paintings in another. Every bit of the art is made out of those little building blocks we all loved as kids.
This is key to Sawaya’s work: the simple LEGO blocks are his preferred artistic medium because he enjoys both piecing his creations together and he wants to challenge perceptions that art can’t be made with something as fun, simple and unusual as LEGO. Lit with single spot-lights on each piece, the texture and shape of the hard edged plastic is made all the more apparent and really highlights the flair and skill Sawaya has in making art out of LEGO.
His work is eye-opening. His original creations toy with ideas, push creative boundaries and are just plain fun. His recreations of well-known artworks are fantastically well executed; whether you’re up close to the Mona Lisa, examining the detail of the pixel-like use of colour and blocks, or standing back amazed at the accuracy of his version of the Venus de Milo, there’s little doubt Sawaya has developed a great style and his skill making three dimensional or flat artwork come to life is impressive.
I enjoyed the weightlessness of some of the figure-work and found myself up-close to the Andy Warhol portrait, Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring and Van Gogh’s Starry Night, mesmerised by the detail. You get the feeling that you’re in a gallery that has been transformed into a videogame and all the art is now pixels.
A cello is so realistic that it seemed to want to be played and the section dedicated to human emotion is worth a show all by itself.
But my favourite work is the very last one. It’s…
…a surprise and I don’t want to ruin that, or any of the many other surprises and visual delights as you journey through the different rooms of the show. But hurry, the exhibition runs until the 2nd of August 2015.
Kids will love it and they have LEGO and videogames to play with as you emerge form the last room. Us adults will enjoy the more intellectual works… oh, and the coffee and snacks and goodies they can buy.
But really, it’s just plain fun. Go and be inspired.