There are those of us who regard LEGO bricks as a nostalgic toy from childhood, while others might still occasionally assemble kits as a hobby or perhaps as a way to bond with children. And then there are the select few who have an unwavering obsession with the tiny plastic bricks, who fiddle endlessly to find the perfect block to create sculptural objects so exquisitely designed, that it becomes art.
LEGO artist Mike Doyle (previously here and here) collected some of the most amazing people working with LEGO today in his new book Beautiful LEGO from No Starch Press. The 280 page book is filled with some 400 photos of LEGO creations from over 70 artists, and seems to be the most thorough book on LEGO art ever written. You can take a peek inside over on Mike’s blog, and although it’s not published until October 7th, you can preorder it now. All photos above reproduced from Beautiful LEGO, with the permission of No Starch Press.
If you happen to be in New York this weekend stop by Art of the Brick, the upcoming solo show by artist Nathan Sawaya at the Discovery Times Square museum. The collection of LEGO sculptures is being billed as “the world’s biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO art ever and will feature brand-new, never-before-seen pieces by Sawaya.” The show opens tomorrow and runs through January 5th, 2014.
Side note: Sawaya is trying to get enough votes over on LEGO CUUSSOO to have one of his orignal artworks turned into an actual LEGO set. All imagery above courtesy Discovery Times Square. (via laughing squid)
From the brilliant mind of New Jersey artist Mike Doyle (I’ve previously featured his spooky victorian houses), comes Contact 1 the first in a series of grand scale LEGO works “celebrating extra terrestrial contact events, spiritual beings and unique worlds.” The towering world is the culmination of some 600 hours of work using 200,000 individual bricks and stands nearly 5 feet high by six feet wide. Doyle is offering limited edition prints and DIY instructions on how to create individual portions of Contact 1 over on Kickstarter.
Los Carpinteros is a Havana-based artist collective currently comprised of Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez (a third member, Alexandre Arrechea, left in 2003) who produce a wide range of works including sculpture, installation, and film. My favorite of their works are these lovely abstract paintings of Legos and other structural or architectural pieces. Via Sean Kelly Gallery:
Interested in the intersection between art and society, the group merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. They create installations and drawings which negotiate the space between the functional and the nonfunctional. The group’s elegant and mordantly humorous sculptures, drawings, and installations draw their inspiration from the physical world—particularly that of furniture. Their carefully crafted works use humor to exploit a visual syntax that sets up contradictions among object and function as well as practicality and uselessness. For Los Carpinteros, drawing has played an integral role as a mock technical draft or form of a blue print that suggests not only a process of artistic elaboration but also a form of architectural or carpentry plans.
You can explore over 100 of their paintings in high resolution on their website, and don’t miss this interactive 360 degree walkthrough of an exploded room at Hayward Gallery in 2008. (via faith is torment)
This is a fun clip by Berlin-based animator Annette Jung of Talking Animals that captures a sizeable repertoire of Michael Jackson’s dance moves using only pixelated Lego bricks. The sound really adds to the experience, headphones/speakers recommended. (via laughing squid)
Botanical artist Makoto Azuma (previously here and here) just completed work on this lovely bonsai tree made entirely from LEGO bricks. The excruciating detail from the undulating moss surface to the craggy, multicolored tree branches is clear evidence of Azuma’s intimate understanding of the botanical world. If I encountered an actual set like this you couldn’t take my money fast enough. See a bit more detail here. (via spoon and tamago)
French designer and woodworker Malet Thibaut just released this limited edition “Art Toy” undoubtedly inspired by the iconic Lego figures. The toys are quite larger than their traditional yellow plastic counterparts, and it’s probably important to note that although the limbs appear flexible they are not actually hinged. Regardless I think they’d make a pretty awesome gift for the Lego-obsessed. Pick ‘em up on Etsy. Unfortunately sold out at the moment. (via behance)
Ornithological LEGO master Tom Poulsom has followed up his wonderful British bird series with a new set of tropical birds featuring macaws, hummingbirds, finches and more. Poulsom says he’s well on his way in gaining enough support on the LEGO CUUSOO site to turn some of these birds into commercially produced models but needs a few more votes. I think I would honestly buy the entire set, so help me help Tom help me and give him a vote and imagine me giving you a giant eHigh-five.