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Nathan Sawaya: LEGO Artist Extraordinaire

Did you know that the word, Lego comes form the Danish Leg Godt, which means to play well? Based out of Denmark, the LEGO powers-that-be could never hope for a more brilliant representation of their versatile product than that exemplified by New York based artist, Nathan Sawaya.

Nathan Sawaya was born in Colville, Washington, and as a child drew cartoons and played with LEGO toy building blocks as so many children do. After attending New York University, he rediscovered LEGO as an art medium and his fascinating works feature many large scale sculptures of unusual quality.

Currently Sawaya is touring the museums of North America with his one-man show, The Art of Brick. This is a unique exhibit in that it is the only one focusing exclusively on LEGO as an art medium. The creations go back a decade to the year 2000 and Sawaya built them all from nearly one million pieces of standard bricks!

His New York art studio is currently home to more than 1.5 million multi-colored bricks. The artist’s playful nature is evident from his incredible works of art along with a painstaking and unbelievably dedicated eye for scale and color perfection.

In the words of journalist, Scott Jones:

“Sawaya is a surrealist mash-up of forms and artists. Imagine Frank Lloyd Wright crossed with Ray Harryhausen, or Auguste Rodin crossed with Shigeru Miyamoto, and you start to get a sense of where Sawaya is coming from.”

He works primarily with 3-dimensional sculptures and oversized portraits. Sawaya is prolific, and works daily at his craft, accepting commissions for projects from all over the globe. His work has been featured in many museums including: the Lancaster, PA Museum of Art; the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York; the Toy Museum in Bellaire, Ohio; the Dreier Collection in Santa Barbara, California; the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA; the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia, PA and the Stamford Museum in Connecticut just to name a few.

Check out his vision below for a post-Katrina New Orleans.

Sawaya is an amazing man with a unique artistic vision. A former corporate lawyer, who quit his day job in 2001, his focus was to become the world’s foremost LEGO artist, a goal that he has not only reached but already surpassed.

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