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But why is the girl in the ravishing red Lego dress so sad?
March 12, 2013 1:16 PM   Subscribe

In Pieces, on display at the OpenHouse gallery in SOHO through March 17th. New York based LEGO sculptor Nathan Sawaya and Australian photographer Dean West (Warning: annoying Flash interface) create magic together.

The intriguing combination of Lego bricks and photography draws you in. The untold stories behind the stark tableaux make you want to linger. Here's how the artists put them all together.
(Nathan Sawaya, previously)
posted by misha (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those were the least informative "making of" videos I've ever watched.

Here's my question: did any part of this actually involve making something out of lego, or is the "lego" entirely computer generated?
posted by yoink at 1:23 PM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


She's sad because she left her Lego pashmina at home.
posted by 41swans at 1:24 PM on March 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


It seems this is a show of pictures with LEGO sculptures photoshopped in.

Reminds me that Art = "I could do that" + "but you didn't."
posted by frijole at 1:51 PM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


But why is the girl in the ravishing red Lego dress so sad?

Because she stepped on her dress.
posted by bondcliff at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


I saw the Nathan Sawaya exhibit in Sydney. It was pretty neat - I liked the skulls. But it seemed to use LEGO as a medium for traditional sculpture (lots of human figures) rather than anything more interesting. I suppose so much has been done with LEGO that the bar is pretty high.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:26 PM on March 12, 2013


I saw Sawaya's Art of The Brick ( TM) exhibit in Morristown NJ. I think on every level - other than "It's made out of Lego!" - it was embarrassing.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:15 PM on March 12, 2013


yoink: Those were the least informative "making of" videos I've ever watched.

I agree, the "Making of" videos are not nearly comprehensive enough!

Ironically, I think that was what peaked my interest the most, because it just made me wonder all the more which artist came up with this idea to collaborate with each other.

Did West see the Lego pieces? In that case, what would make this artist whose work is not just minimalist but stark, even austere, think, "Hey, I really want to collaborate with this Lego sculptor dude!"? How does his mind work, that he sees brightly-colored flip flops and towels as fitting props for some worn-down old guy alone by the pool, instead of kids happily splashing together at the beach? Why, as I asked in my title, does the gorgeous red Lego brick dress make him envision a woman, alone on the sidewalk at night, shuddering in the cold, obviously completely out of her element?

If Sawaya contacted West, that seems even more bizarre. Here's a guy who seems to enjoy a medium not in small part for its nostalgic connection to childhood and playfulness. Why would these bleak landscapes appeal to him as a forum for his own art?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That's just the weird way my mind works, I guess.

Here's my question: did any part of this actually involve making something out of lego, or is the "lego" entirely computer generated?

Oh, the Lego pieces are real! Here is a time-lapse video of the setup team putting up the dog, umbrella, clouds, etc. Lego brick sculptures.

BTW, I say "Lego brick" instead of "Legos" because I've been schooled by serious Lego afficionados that they prefer that nomenclature.

R. Mutt: I saw Sawaya's Art of The Brick ( TM) exhibit in Morristown NJ. I think on every level - other than "It's made out of Lego!" - it was embarrassing.

Isn't that sorta like saying, "I saw Picasso's Girl Descending a Staircase, and on every level other than "He painted this on canvas during his cubist period!" it was embarrassing"?

I guess I'm asking what specifically you disliked. I haven't seen Sawaya's Art of the Brick myself, but I have seen some Lego brick sculptures I found damned impressive.
posted by misha at 11:00 AM on March 13, 2013


- complete lack of intellectual, conceptual depth
- saccharin subject matter
- lack of art historical awareness
- disconnection between material and subject/content

and no indication that these were intentional, mindful choices.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:30 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


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