Nathan Sawaya’s, The Art of the Brick, is a truly beautiful book.
Sawaya is an artist whose choice of media is the Lego®. You know…those little, bright-colored plastic bricks that kids (and kids-at-heart) play with? Yes…that is the medium for an incredible art form.
Sawaya’s art is anything but childish. His ability to create form and movement with the solid squareness of the Lego® brick is remarkable, but it’s the vision he has that makes the art. You need only look at the cover of the book, as depicted above in this review, to get a sense of what Sawaya does, but I promise that you’ll want to look at more than this cover … this is only the beginning!
How does one become a Lego® artist? Sawaya writes about this; from his leaving his job as an attorney to become an artist in a medium that wasn’t recognized. He even had to battle with the Lego® company for a time (fortunately he had the background in law) to continue his work.
It is hard for me to pick a favorite work of art from this collection … so many stand out as being quite exceptional … but I would lean slightly in favor of “Red Dress” for its concept and realization.
As amazing as the work itself is (and it is amazing), it is fortunate that the photography captures the sculptures in ideal ways. This book owes much to these artists as well, and sadly their names only appear as an end note. Thanks to Jim Herrington, Erica Anne Photography, Dean West, Mitch Haddad, Suzanne Bauer, and Nelson Chenault for making Nathan Sawaya’s art stand out!
But there is more to this book than fantastic brick sculptures photographed well! Nathan Sawaya writes about art, art in general and his specific art, very eloquently. It was almost like reading a book of artistic daily devotions. I didn’t want the written parts to end, although I knew that when they did, it was to make way for the visual art.
I’m not sure that my rural area of the country will get the opportunity to see this art first hand and so I am grateful for this book.
Looking for a good book? The Art of the Brick is a book that every artist or art lover, should own.
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The Art of the Brick: A Life in Lego
author: Nathan Sawaya
artist: Nathan Sawaya
publisher: No Starch Press
paperback, 248 pages