Building Childhood Memories Brick by Brick

Before I even begin all I have to say is WOW. I have seen pieces from this artist before but never a collection like this. And I never knew his name or how to get a hold of him; until now. His name is Nathan Sawaya and he is a world renown artist. And this is not your grandmother’s art work. This is some of the coolest, and possibly most detailed, creative, and interesting art that I have ever seen. So with that being said, take a look around his website. You will see things that you never thought could be made from these tiny bricks.

You remember Lego’s, right? They were the little blocks that came in various colors that you could build anything that your heart desired. You could get them by the bucket or in various sets including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Pirates of the Caribbean. And the older I got the more expensive they seemed to become. But regardless, thanks to the folks that always paid for those little plastic pieces. I still, to this day, have a pirate ship that I build. I even have a huge barrel that I used to keep them in. I remember pouring them on the floor on a hot summer day and building until I was blue in the face.

But this guy takes Lego’s to a whole new level. (Why is there a ‘ in the word Lego?) He creates sculptures of these bricks in various size and shape and has come up with some of his own. The image you see above you is by far the coolest one in his collection. It is a man, all yellow, ripping himself open. His guts pour out onto the floor and all I want to do is stare at the attention to detail this guy puts into his pieces.

He is a New York based artist that puts his work on tour. You can find his work in certain galleries throughout the year. The show is called The Art of the Brick (so fitting) and he shows some of his most popular pieces. You can even purchase nearly every piece that he creates. And if you do not see something you like he will make a custom one for you! He does anything from sculptures large and small, portraits, and even logos. So if you are looking for a creative way to express your business, maybe a Lego is the answer. (I have also seen Lego’s spelled in all caps. So is it Lego or LEGO?)

I am really glad that I got to see this guy’s work. I really enjoy finding new artwork (like head stones for those who read my post from yesterday) and this is one that I can relate to on a lot of levels. But what was your biggest ear when playing with these little blocks? Was it having an image of what you wanted to do but could never get the bricks to bend the way you wanted? Or was it the fact you would get almost to the end and you were missing a piece? And it was never a piece that you could easily replace. It was always the piece that would make the product a complete master piece. Or perhaps it was the fact that as soon as you build something you wanted to build something else?

I want to know what a typical sculpture costs him. I mean, I assume he has some major benefits with the LEGO (see, I used it here to be fair to those who do not know the true spelling) company but does he buy them in bulk? It seems that a lot of his pieces are all one color. What if he needs a custom color? Does he paint them himself or does he improvise? There is a FAQ section on his website but I would much rather have my own thoughts on how he handles these things.

I actually took the time to email him today. I reached out for a multitude of reasons. The first was to get a price quote. I am interested in getting a life size Tiger Woods sculpture made for me. It would of course be one of the only ones in the world, if not THE only one in the world. And it might be a way for me to get a segway into meeting Tiger again. (I met him in 2000 when I was a volunteer at the PGA Championship but I have grown up quite a bit since then. I want to be able to have an adult conversation with the man.) I mean, how freaking cool would that be? You walk into my house (or apartment right now) and there was a life size Tiger Woods LEGO sculpture. Talk about a conversation starter.

I wonder how he ships these things. Do you think he builds them on site? I mean, I assume he has a massive studio where he can explode with creative juices but what if he needed to ship a life size sculpture across the country. (Hence my potential Tiger sculpture.) I would like to see the shipping costs for something like that. I highly doubt he sends the pieces broken apart. Perhaps he builds is first, then glues the important, and breakable, pieces together. So many questions and not enough time!

Either way this makes me want to dig out my LEGO collection and start creating. This craft has taken him years and I am sure he starts many projects that he never finishes, but this is taking a modern tool and creating beautiful, and profitable, pieces of art. I want to see these up close and personal. I bet there is a Do Not Touch sign hanging near every piece.

So what is your call on the Tiger Woods sculpture? I am saying ten thousand dollars. What is your guess?