Mental Floss

12 Stunning Works of Art Made from LEGO Bricks

Chris Higgins
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In "The Art of the Brick," now open in Portland, Oregon, artist Nathan Sawaya builds masterpieces.

From February 18 through May 29, The Art of the Brick is on display at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. The exhibit includes loads of LEGO brick artwork by Nathan Sawaya, along with a Brick Lab for visitors to try their hand with LEGO and DUPLO bricks.

1. CIRCLE TORSO, SQUARE TORSO, TRIANGLE TORSO

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

Piece counts: 10,305, 9957, and 9147, respectively.

2. YELLOW (FRONT)

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

Sawaya's best-known piece, featuring 11,014 bricks. Sawaya writes that kids like it "probably because yellow guts spilling onto the floor looks cool."

3. YELLOW (BACK)

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

The piece looks just as impressive from behind. Sawaya writes, "For me, this piece is about the metamorphosis I have been through on my journeys."

4. RED UMBRELLA

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

Featuring 4628 bricks, this hangs above the gallery on wires.



5. ARTIST'S STUDIO

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

This artist's setting in the corner of a gallery room looks ordinary from a distance, but is shocking up close. Everything you see here is made from LEGO bricks. The drawers on the right and even the floor are all bricks!

6. PEACE SYMBOL

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

The piece used 3720 bricks. Sawaya writes, "What does it take to create Peace? All the colors in the world working together, of course!"

7. HANDS

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

Sawaya writes, "This piece is literally my nightmare." Uses more than 15,000 bricks.

8. GREEN MAN SITTING

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

This green figure sits by an open chair. A banner above encourages visitors to sit in the empty chair and share their photographs online.



9. SMALL CLOUD 1, SMALL CLOUD 2, LARGE CLOUD

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

These hang above the gallery on wires. Block counts: 4004, 4004, and 7660.

10. DINOSAUR SKELETON

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

This piece is truly massive, taking up an entire room. It uses 80,020 bricks, and is more than 20 feet long. Sawaya writes, "It took me an entire summer to build and nearly drove me crazy trying to make it work."

11. RED DRESS

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

This piece contains 62,750 bricks. The bricks flowing behind the dress hang on wires.

12. SAWAYA INTRODUCES HOMECOMING

ART BY NATHAN SAWAYA; PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HIGGINS

The artist is a Portland native who now lives in New York City. Homecoming is visually patterned on the distinctive look of Portland's PDX airport carpet. Sawaya writes, "It is amazing how a simple pattern can go on to remind and represent more than an airport, but an entire city, and entire region, even a way of living." This piece was created for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

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