Tag Archives: Lego

Nathan Sawaya


Sawaya Lego Skulls

Nathan Sawaya uses Lego Bricks to Produce Three Dimensional Installations. 

On a very warm Sunday afternoon, I discovered an impressive installation constructed from individual lego pieces, Nathan Sawaya has produced a series of lego skulls in blue, red, yellow and green. Sawaya is a contemporary artist who uses everyday materials to create large, three dimensional installations; his most famous  and his most memorable works are constructed from a range of colourful lego bricks.

I remember visiting Nathan Sawaya’s exhibition at Federation Square in Melbourne a few years ago, “The Art of the Brick” featured Sawaya’s most unique installations, the actual size and the proportion was extraordinary! I remember walking straight into the gallery space and standing right next to this giant tyrannosaurus rex made from lego bricks, Sawaya’s installation was almost the same size as the gallery space and the level of detail was rather impressive.

As I continued to walk throughout the gallery space, I was just amazed by the number of installations that were displayed within the exhibition, every corner featured a completely different body of work, which is good in a way because I always had something interesting to look at. Within the very last gallery space, I recognised a red, blue, green and yellow skull mounted to the back wall, the display and the presentation feature similarities to Andy Warhol’s Pop-Art Paintings from the 1970’s.

Colorful Skulls - Nathan Sawaya

The lego bricks in particular create a very interesting effect, the four different skulls on the back wall appear pixelated when they are viewed from a distance. Once you begin to walk closer to the installation, you are able to recognise the detail around the eye sockets and the jawline. Sawaya has successfully transformed an ordinary, everyday object into a masterpiece, the artist has used the lego blocks to create unique and rather extraordinary installations.

In fact I was so inspired by the exhibition that I decided to purchased 13,000 pieces of lego in order to create my own installation, it was a very interesting obsession that lasted for an entire year. I’ve always enjoyed working with lego and the thought of using this particular material for an art project was just way too exciting! If you make a mistake, all you do is remove the bricks, what more could you possible ask for?

I’ve always wondered how the artist assembles his large scale installations, I’m assuming the artist would use a special glue to hold everything together, otherwise I could not imagine how anyone would be able to produce a large three dimensional installation without the lego bricks falling to pieces. Of course my favourite installation in the exhibition were the lego skulls, in a way Sawaya has used the individual colours in order to create a unique style and aesthetic, it wouldn’t deliver the same effect if the colours were all mixed together.

So what does it mean to create a skull from individual lego bricks? Well the skull and the lego bricks are continually manufactured and reproduced on a regular basis, they’re two recognisable symbols that have influenced popular culture and contemporary art, I would say that lego and skulls just work really well together!

While the exhibition is no longer exhibiting at Federation Square, I would recommend viewing Sawaya’s work in person if you ever have the chance.

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