Everything always starts with one brick

“It is difficult to walk through this exhibition and not smile amazement… the playfulness is contagious” . That how The New York Times describes “The art of the Brick”, the exhibition of Lego works by Nathan Sawaya.Nathan Sawaya is an artist who had a simple idea: creating art works with Legos. Right, the colored bricks you used to play when you were a kid. In the video at the beginning of the tour, he tells you that he took his even when he went to college. “Of course, what did I do, as an artist? I went to law school”. Anyway he was lucky enough to be supported by his family and friends to follow his passion and create.

The simplest, but still wonderful, idea was to reproduce famous works with Lego for the section “Paint by bricks”. And that’s what he did with “Gioconda”, “The girl with the pearl earring”  or “The Starry Night”, scale 1:1 with 3,493 pieces.



If you think that these works were easy to reproduce, remember that the artist decided to go 3D with “The sculpture garden”. The following examples are the “David”, scale 1:2, 16,349 pieces and “Nefertiti”, scale 1:1, 1,675 pieces.



But going downstairs the atmosphere changes and you can really see why Nathan is an artist, with no doubt.

“My favorite subject is the human form. A lot of my work suggests a figure in transition. It represent the metamorphosis I am experiencing in my own life. My pieces grow out of my fears and accomplishment, as a lawyer and as an artist, as a boy and as a man. With these words Nathan Sawaya introduces the deepest areas of the exhibition: “Metamorphosis” and “The Human Condition”.

“Yellow”. Piece count: 11,014 (89x33x71cm). “For me, this piece is about the metamorphosis I have been through on my journeys”.

Probably his best-known piece, Yellow makes you stop and reflect, feel the strong energy that exploded in that human body. A rebellion, a liberation, a big emotion.


The following work is from “Through the darkness”. “When I was a lawyer I quickly came to realize i was more comfortable sitting on the floor creating sculptures than I was sitting in a boardroom negotiating contracts. My own personal conflicts and fears, coupled with a deep desire for overall happiness, paved the way to becoming a full-time working artist’. As I always say: all the experienced we make are important and useful to reach the Goal of our life. And this piece leaves speechless.


The exhibitions is hosted by Discovery Times Square, in the heart of Manhattan (it means in the heart of New York), so it looks really appropriate that the artist dedicates some room to “City of dreams”.


At the end you will be in “your gallery” where every day people can write their name on a Lego and create something new. Of course, thinking about all of you, I put my personal one.


“Art is necessary, it’s not even an option anymore. Just remember: art can be everything, there are no rules. You can create with whatever you can find. For me it was just Lego bricks. Remember, it all starts with one brick”.

– Nathan Sawaya –


For more photos (of almost every workpiece) visit the Flickr set.


Feeling Creative? Show them your talents!

Click here for details on THE ART OF THE BRICK BUILDING CONTEST – now accepting entries!

Enter a photo of your own LEGO® brick creation and your sculpture could be featured in The Art of the Brick exhibition in NYC!