Nathan Sawaya takes LEGO to a whole new level

Caitlin Matthews

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Instead of attending prom, I took my significant other to see award-winning artist Nathan Sawaya’s LEGO exhibition in Muskegon. To many, this may seems like a childish and pathetic replacement, but it was actually rather interesting. Since I work Curious Kids, I end up playing with LEGO pieces all the time. Here, these 6 year olds use this “highly sophisticated interlocking brick system” to create flying toilets with lasers, giant spaceships with even bigger lasers, bombs, cows and houses… with lasers.They’re occupied for hours, strategically building and choosing the correct pieces to create their own masterpiece.

I’ve always seen LEGO pieces as a toy, just as these children do, but the artwork Sawaya presents has opened my eyes to a different perspective on this popular toy. They’re a new method of displaying architecture and art, allowing the creativity and imagination of ordinary people to soar.

Sawaya, a former attorney, holds the title as a “LEGO certified professional” for his worldwide popularity as a LEGO artist. After being miserable as an attorney for many years, he decided his true destiny was in the shape of a red 2×2 block. For a living, he creates a variety of art that has been rated one of the top 10 exhibitions by CNN. Sawaya has toured the world, showing off his time-consuming but incredible LEGO creations that vary in size, complexity and design. His exhibition, “The Art of the Brick,” can be seen at the Muskegon Museum of Art until Sunday, May 3. With his unique talent, he mainly creates large sculptures of people with symbolic and artistic designs

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Sawaya has recently been gaining in popularity with his designs through large social events. He designed the LEGO Oscars given out at the Oscar 2015 Award Ceremony in which Oprah, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep gladly received a LEGO Oscar award. His most famous piece, “Yellow,” was in the music video for Lady Gaga’s new song “G.U.Y.”

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His pieces are not just small creations, either. “Yellow” stands at 28”x35”x19,” but others are taller than 6 feet. Sawaya is known to create and leave around LEGO pieces known as “Huggers” which are small human shaped creations hugging an object in a town or city. Sawaya leaves these around to inspire the younger generation to use its creativity.

LEGO bricks are not just used for art creations either, but also for videos. Stop motion videos on YouTube are rising in popularity. This basically consists of taking a picture of a LEGO set or design, moving it slightly, and taking another picture. After doing this a billion times, these pictures can mold together to create a small, fun video for audiences to love. The ‘average Joe’ can create these videos, but YouTubers such as Brotherhood Workshop do this frequently to gain popularity and business.

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LEGO is just awesome. Not only to the provide a fun and creative way for children to play and grow, but also serve as a form of art that can allow others to create incredible masterpieces all over the world. For all those interested in seeing Sawaya’s “Art of the Brick” exhibition, tickets are $ 10 and can be bought at the door. Those interested can also see his artwork on his website at http://www.brickartist.com.