Lovely Lego art of Nathan Sawaya

A Decade ago, the well-paid corporate lawyer, 37-year-old Nathan Sawaya made headlines through abandoning his wealthy life-style in favour, instead, of chasing an unending childhood obsession. He had always been a major fan of the iconic toy building blocks from Lego, and decided to use his artistic leanings by creating sculptures from them.

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)A Decade ago, the well-paid corporate lawyer, 37-year-old Nathan Sawaya made headlines through abandoning his wealthy life-style in favour, instead, of chasing an unending childhood obsession. He had always been a major fan of the iconic toy building blocks from Lego, and decided to use his artistic leanings by creating sculptures from them.

This amazing artist, sculpting only with the familiar little pieces of plastic, aims to create, with seemingly effortless virtuoso flair, emotionally and psychologically thought-provoking works that always attract lots of media attention. These figures are, it needs to be said, far from those creations of the average child, being instead truly creative and meaningful works.

Every onlooker that is pulled up short on catching sight of one of his masterly art-works seems drawn to thinking about what might lie behind that first impression that made them look. Whilst Lego sculpting is an established art form, few are on a par with this genuine master of the craft.

Nathan has, in recent years, started to enjoy great artistic success and renown, touring often with an exhibition dubbed Art of The Brick, which, wherever it appears, is consistently sold out. His thoughtful sculptures have fetched as much as $25,000, and his Midtown studio is often beset by art students seeking tuition and advice.

Whilst one very common critique is that Lego bricks do not belong in fine art – so that Nathan’s iconic imagery is seen as a mere novelty by some, others regard it very differently. It was back in 2007 that the Pennsylvanian Lancaster Museum of Art hosted one of the artist’s first museum shows, and the admission queues encircled the building several times over.

Giving up his lucrative legal profession in pursuit of art seemed ridiculous to some but Nathan maintains it was inevitable, from the moment, at five years of age, that he was gifted his first Lego set for Christmas. His love of lego, kept secret through adolescence and adulthood, never diminished, and in fact it was the 2004 announcement, by, Legoland of a worldwide search for their next Master Builder, the most coveted job in Lego fandom, that inspired him.

Out of thousands of entrants, Nathan won the right to take up the job, and after five months, he launched a website, showcasing his personal artistic work. The response was so overwhelming that the site crashed continually under the weight of demand, so Nathan made his life-changing choice, and despite losing his fiancee in the process is today highly regarded, his amazing work much sought after and collected, and his star role in the art world very firmly established.


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