Anyone can stick some Lego bricks together to make … something. But few people have elevated the pastime to an art form. Notable among them is Nathan Sawaya, a one-time lawyer whose Lego sculptures were so much in demand that he became a full-time Lego artist. His best known sculpture, “Yellow,” made from 11,014 bricks, is about baring his soul and the difficulty he had moving away from the corporate world. He says he enjoys the fact that while adults appreciate the anguish depicted, kids fixate on the spilling guts.
Sawaya has studios in Los Angeles and New York and spends about 10 hours a day clicking bricks. His work has appeared in Bill Clinton’s presidential library, on a Lady Gaga album cover, and in a New Orleans’ public monument to Hurricane Katrina.
The artist says, “Initially, I think people expected to see what they would find in a toy store. The medium makes it easy to connect with the art, but the challenge is to convey the emotion as well.”