The Art of the Brick is a global touring exhibition rated by CNN as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibition”. This exhibition is created by an award-winning artist Nathan Sawaya and it is the largest exhibition of LEGO. Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures are on display in Moscow for the first time ever.
Each section of exhibition has countless colorful LEGO pieces which Nathan Sawaya transformed into inspiring creations. Honestly, I did not know much about the exhibition before I bought tickets. I love LEGO since my childhood so I decided to attend the exhibition anyway. But I did not expect anything I saw there. All sculptures have its own deep meaning. A common toy was transformed into something meaningful which got a status of contemporary art. Nathan’s quotes explaining every piece of art are amazing too!
Before entering the exhibition, the first sculpture you see is the Beatles in front of British flag.
The exhibition began with a cozy room which recreated Nathan’s work studio.
In my opinion, the next section was created to inspire and encourage people to build their own pieces of art, not to be afraid to face some difficulties and fight for their own choices. “Art nurtures the brain whether made from clay, paint, wood or a modern-day toy”.
Stepladder “Sometimes when you’re looking for a step up, you don’t have to look any further than yourself. We’re all capable of more than we think” © N. Sawaya
Writer “Let your ideas flow. When you let your creativity loose, be it in writing, art, music or whatever, your ideas take on a life of their own. So take those big ideas and set them free” © N. Sawaya
The next sculpture is one of my favorite ones, mainly because of its meaning. Sometimes it’s really difficult to make a right decision based on a million thoughts (those different colors and miniature people filling our brains with ideas). Which thought should be the one to unlock our mind?
The next section of the exhibition is dedicated to Sawaya’s probably best-known and most famous sculpture Mr. Yellow, which looks a bit creepy but I could not stop staring at it. The main idea of this piece is “how catharsis opening oneself up to the world can be for our souls” © N. Sawaya. I totally agree with this point. But actually, everyone can come up with different meaning of each sculpture which makes the whole exhibition even more exciting.
What follows is a section of brick replicas of the most famous ancient sculptures. It includes statues of David, Venus de Milo, Augustus of Prime Porta, Discobolus and decorative version of Parthenon which was considered some of the high points of Greek art. It was absolutely mind-blowing experience. Can’t even imagine how much time and patience it took Nathan to create those amazing statues!
Nathan Sawaya also creates absolutely amazing portraits with LEGO bricks. The portraits of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Andy Warhol show some seriously impressive accuracy and shading. And look at the Mickey!!!
Now we are moving to the sections entitled The Human Condition and Human Expressions which contain original artwork featuring many sculptures involving the human form. Those sections are mainly dedicated to human differences, feelings and peace.
“Celebrate difference. If everybody looked and was the same it wouldn’t be a very interesting world, would it? So which shape are you? The circle, square and triangle are the fundamental building blocks of all things. And the colors red, blue and yellow are the primary colors of our world” © N. Sawaya
Look also at those peace symbols! They were created of thousand colorful bricks. The peace means all different colors in the world working together. What a great idea!
As I said before every Nathan’s sculpture is meaningful and make people to think about their lives, analyzes them. I especially admire the piece of art which is called Grasp. “No matter where your heart wants to lead you, there will be hands that try to hold you back. Life’s challenge is to find the strength to break free. I created this sculpture in response to so many people telling me “no” in my life. I wanted to break free of those people” © N. Sawaya. Many thanks to Nathan for having created this piece of art. It’s so true! People really like to give some advice which mainly based on their own stereotypes, and usually it’s not just an advice but an enforcement to follow it. Everyone is different with their own tastes, opinions etc. But some people don’t really get it.
There are also sculptures which show emotions we experience in different life conditions/situations. Very impressive! The first sculpture is called Grasp and means that a person should beware the winds of life that nibble away their sense of self. It’s necessary to stay strong to become yourself again.
Mr. Gray is almost a self portrait of Nathan. He explains it as follows “Taking a leap is hard. I used to be a lawyer. There was nothing wrong with being a lawyer, but I always knew there was another me, an Artist Me, lurking inside. Then one day I decided to let the Artist in me out, and I never looked back” So much respect to Nathan!
Absolutely beautiful sculpture in blue! Swim against the current, find the courage within!
The last but not the least interesting section of the exhibition is called In pieces. It is a multimedia collaboration between Nathan Sawaya and photographer Dean West. The project is a composition of Dean’s photographs and Nathan’s unique sculptures which surrounds the viewer with the physicality of the art. The sculptures were represented on exhibition along with the photos which contain those sculptures. Can you find all the objects on the pictures? 😊
And finally! I was so surprised to see a gigantic sculpture of a dinosaur. It’s the largest sculpture of Nathan’s collection and contains more than 80 thousands bricks! It took him the whole summer to build a dinosaur. He wanted to create something that children would enjoy. And what is better than a dinosaur? But actually adults were even more excited about that sculpture!
Overall it was absolutely a great experience! It is worth seeing this inspiring exhibition for adults and kids. There are many more other sculptures represented on exhibition, I have just posted the ones that I loved the most. The exhibition gives a great opportunity to think about many things just looking at the LEGO bricks. “Art makes better humans, art is necessary in understanding the world and art makes people happy. Undeniably, art is not optional” © Thanks to Nathan Sawaya!