From former corporate lawyer to now creator of large-scale sculptures and oversized portraits, artist Nathan Sawaya is not your typical talent.
Starting with something as simple as the childhood favorite Lego blocks, Sawaya takes them to new heights by transforming just about anything and everything into a piece that according to him engages everyone’s inner child while highlighting sophisticated and complex concepts.
The Art of the Brick was truly an exhibition I’m glad I did not miss.
Upon entrance, visitors are shown an introduction video highlighting the origins of Sawaya’s journey. From there, the artist takes the individual on an expansive journey through his gallery of brick paintings; a broad spectrum of recreations celebrating renowned artworks from decades past. Sawaya shows it can be done by taking classics such as the “Mona Lisa” and “Starry Night”, and selects elements of the scene to have depth, emphasizing the three-dimensionality of individuals and places that are no longer tangible. He portrays a more realistic side of his creativity by capturing simple everyday items such as apples or a pencil and throws in a whimsical punch.
Realizing that art is not only a manifestation of what was or is physically there, Sawaya leads the viewer to ponder on the abstract. The concept of ascension, going to a higher place without first experiencing death, for example, can prompt religious, philosophical, or simply logical thinking. Is there such a thing? What lifts us up and takes us where we want to go? Perhaps the section that evokes insurmountable emotions are Sawaya’s depictions of the human condition. The raw moments of angst and frustration or the elated state of being in love are ones we all share at some point or another in life.
Sawaya’s ability to conceptualize action, ideas, and feelings and translating them out in physical form is rare to find. An innovator who takes the mundane, the superficial, the dark, and the controversial to name a few, creates a showcase of riveting and profound masterpieces that will enlighten every facet of the mind. The Art of the Brick is creation that cannot be missed.