CINCINNATI – After months of anticipation and excitement, the largest display of LEGO® art is finally open at Cincinnati Museum Center. The Art of the Brick is open through May 1, 2016.
Designed to stir the imagination and inspire creativity, The Art of the Brick is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art, featuring more than 100 works of art. The exhibit features the work of contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, including reimagined versions of some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and a full-size Moai head statue. There are also several original pieces such as the iconic, pop culture fan favorite Yellow , a life-size sculpture of a man ripping his chest open as thousands of sunshine yellow LEGO bricks cascade from the cavity. Visitors will also come face-to-face with a 20-foot long T-Rex skeleton made using more than 80,000 LEGO bricks.
Sawaya unveiled an exclusive piece for The Art of the Brick’s Cincinnati debut. Porkopolis depicts Cincinnati’s unofficial mascot: a flying pig of pink LEGO bricks and wings made of recycled bricks. Harkening back to Cincinnati’s time as the pork packing capital of the nation, Porkopolis is a whimsical nod to Cincinnati as a city that believes pigs can fly. To others the phrase “when pigs fly” means a longshot, an impossibility. To Cincinnatians it’s simply a reminder of all the city can accomplish, no matter the odds.
“My goal with this exhibition when it first debuted in 2007 was to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before,” says Sawaya. “Everyone can relate to the medium since it is a toy that many children have at home. The Art of the Brick exhibition is accessible because it engages the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts.”
Such an incredible exhibition is certain to inspire visitors to create their own LEGO masterpieces and Cincinnati Museum Center has built a space where those imaginations can run wild. As visitors exit The Art of the Brick they’ll enter an interactive companion gallery conceived, designed and built by the exhibits team at Cincinnati Museum Center. The interactive gallery features kid-sized LEGO work tables, each with bins of LEGO bricks for kids and adults to build their own creations and even race LEGO cars down ramps. For little LEGO builders there are even LEGO DUPLO® blocks to build with. Visitors can also LEGO-tize themselves using LEGO minifigs and LEGO versions of fan favorites around the Museum Center. Snap a pic and post it using #ArtOfTheBrick and you’ll even see your post on an interactive social media feed in the gallery.
“The power of LEGO bricks are their versatility. They can become anything in the hands of someone who has an active mind and an eager imagination. The complex, magnificent structures in The Art of the Brick are created out of a simple, accessible medium the nearly every child and adult is familiar with,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We’re so excited to bring this exhibit to Cincinnati so that children of all ages, from 3 to 93, feel inspired and empowered to create their own masterpieces, whether that’s LEGO bricks, Popsicle sticks or computer code.”
About Nathan Sawaya
Nathan Sawaya is an acclaimed New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring artwork out of a toy. His art focuses on large-scale sculptures using only LEGO bricks. Sawaya was the first artist to ever take LEGO into the art world and his touring exhibition The Art of the Brick, has entertained and inspired millions of art lovers and enthusiasts from Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, China and around the world. CNN heralded, “The Art of the Brick is one of the top 12 must-see exhibits in the world!” Originally from Oregon, Sawaya’s childhood dreams were always fun and creative. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and, of course, also played with LEGO sets. His days were filled with imagination. When it came time for college, Sawaya moved to New York City, attended NYU and became a lawyer. But after years of million dollar mergers and corporate acquisitions on Park Avenue, Sawaya realized he would rather be sitting on the floor creating art than sitting in a boardroom negotiating contracts. He walked away from the law and took an artistic risk on LEGO bricks. Now Sawaya is an author, speaker and one of the most popular, award-winning contemporary artists of our time. For more information about Nathan Sawaya and his artwork, visit www.brickartist.com.
For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org