On a Playful Brick

To me, art is one of the (if not the most) ultimate expressions of human creativity. It’s easy to apply that thought to paintings, drawings, and sculptures – but it also applies (and not limited to) music, architecture, closing, photography, and countless creations of woodwork, jewelry, knitting, pottery, and embroidery..

For many months, my wife and I looked forward to visiting an exhibit before it left Cincinnati’s Museum Center – an exhibit of something many of us played with – a toy – yet, the fundamental ingredient of an art form – LEGO® bricks.

Art of the Brick is an exhibit featuring the work of Nathan Sawaya – a contemporary artist who uses LEGO® bricks to replicate his expressions of great art and his own original art through these toyful bricks.

Lego Entrance

Although the exhibit contained over 100 pieces, the comparative images of Sawaya’s work to the originals impressed me …

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… but so did his replications of the Mona Lisa (da Vinci), Starry Night (Van Gogh), and others …

… and so did this (I’m guessing) 10 ft (3 m) version of the iconic Moai on Easter Island composed of over 75,000 individual bricks …

Lego Moai

.. Sorry to say I didn’t get of a good picture this 20 ft (6 m) long replication of Tyrannosaurus rex of over 80,000 bricks, but The Guardian did (which I will list in the Additional Resources at the end of this post)

Mr. Sawaya also created original contemporary work How could one not love the swimmer in the pool of bricks …

Lego Swimmer

… and Yellow: the expression of a life-sized man ripping open his chest …

Lego Yellow

.. and a unique collection of other originals …

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… and even the Flying Pig specifically done for the people of Cincinnati in this exhibit.

Lego Flying Pig

Art of the Brick is a fun and impressive exhibit. Although it’s run in Cincinnati is ending, multiple exhibits are currently touring across the globe. See the Additional Information at the end that includes the tour’s world-wide schedule. Any favorites?

The Exhibit

From the artist


The exhibit challenges the concept of what is art. What is a toy. And even the limits of human imagination. It’s a playground where pigs are let loose to fly. – Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com

Is it a grown-up version of child’s play? Yes. Is it art? Yes — and not merely in the kitschy tradition of Warhol. In addition to presenting an 80,020-piece Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton and plastic reproductions of famous masterpieces, the exhibition is surprisingly contemplative. – Kathy Schwartz, CityBeat

Sure, it might start with a brick, but it takes an impressive amount of vision to build upon that first step and take the concept to the finish line. Because while we’ve all, at one time or another, built a house out of LEGOs, we haven’t built the world’s largest display of LEGO art. That claim belongs to Sawaya. – Leah Zipperstein, Cincinnati Refined

While I loved seeing the well-known works of art re-imagined and created in LEGO® bricks, I was totally enamored with the creativity displayed by the original works of Nathan Sawaya.” – Bridgett Raffenberg, 365Cincinnati.com

This exhibit isn’t just for LEGO fanatics…everyone is going to love this collection of works of art using LEGO bricks. – Katie S., TheLittleThingsJournal.com

Each room of the exhibit has a WOW factor! It’s hard to pick a favorite when you see how diverse Nathan’s skills are. It’s incredible to think of the foresight and planning that went into creating each sculpture. – Nedra McDaniel, AdventureMomBlog.com

Additional Information
Exhibit’s website
The Touring Schedule
The Artist
Images from The Guardian

Art of the Brick is something to think about. After all, this exhibit may be near you.

Lego Ponder


60 thoughts on “On a Playful Brick

  1. This looks like a great exhibit. Of course, I like the one with the guy ripping open his chest best. I know, I know, there’s something wrong me. I see it’s coming to Mansfield. That’s an hour and a half away from me. Might make for a nice excursion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So beautiful dear Frank, this is great art work. Thank you for sharing wish us, I really wished to have this exhibition in here too… but who knows maybe comes one day. Thank you, have a nice week, Love, nia


  3. That’s crazy good stuff, Frank. It’s amazing how talented and creative people can be and watching those videos was even more interesting. I’ll have to show my grandchildren these photos and videos. They love playing with Legos.


  4. I like it. Art, at least this kind, reminds me that everything we see, everything we experience, comes through the senses as neural impulses and is interpreted by the brain. These representations communicate the commonality of experience among us. I think my favorite is the swimmer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      I like your look at art through the senses. … then add the fact that each of us interpret the same signals differently … an amazing thought indeed! We also enjoyed the swimmer. Very unique and well done!


  5. Interesting and amazing. My brother and I played with Lego’s throughout our childhood, in Munich there was a toy store that always had displays of very cool Lego cities. Nowhere near as complex as these works of art of course. I wish this was coming to Dallas or Ft Worth, would love to take my Grands to see.


  6. Saw this last year in NYC. Thought it was just awesome! Couldn’t believe the intricacy of the work. My little grandson was so inspired by what he saw that we promptly marched off to the Lego store after our visit to this exhibit and I drop mucho dinaro for countless boxes of legos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your commitment to broad-mindedness and exposing your readers to such a variety of “what’s out there” in our fascinating world. I’m also ever impressed with your grace and tact in your replies to every comment.


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