Lego Chicago: ‘The Art of Brick’ exhibit on display at the Museum of Science and Industry

CHICAGO (WLS) — Every room is meticulously planned.

“I plan, at least in my mind, what the final piece will look like before I even lay the first brick,” said brick artist Nathan Sawaya.

Brick after brick is glued together to create new interpretations of the world’s most famous art at the Museum of Science and Industry thanks to Sawaya.

“People know Lego, so when they see this type of art, they can kind of connect with it,” Sawaya said.

“The Art of the Brick” – billed as the world’s largest Lego art exhibition – opened at the Museum of Science and Industry on Thursday.

Squint a bit and you might think you’re at the Art Institute instead. There’s American Gothic in 3D, and Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Michelangelo’s David and Venus de Milo, even the Lego Mona Lisa.

“I just think it’s really interesting how something as simple as a piece of Lego can create something so different from what we’re used to seeing,” said Celeste Garcia, patron. from MSI.

Sawaya began his career as a lawyer in New York before devoting himself full-time to art and Lego inspiration.

“To see their faces, to see their smiles, to hopefully inspire them to be a little more creative in their lives. Because as an artist, I want to inspire,” he said.

And it’s more than reinterpretations of famous works of art. Each original piece contains thousands and thousands of Lego bricks, artist ABC 7 has a standing order of a quarter of a million Lego bricks per month and a stockpile of 10 million bricks in his artist studio.

An entire gallery dedicated to Sawaya’s original works includes a 22-foot-long T. rex, a life-size version of endangered animals, and an absolutely breathtaking commission of Michelle Obama’s First Lady portrait.

And in the end, young and old alike can build as they please with Lego.

“I really believe that art is not optional. And I want more people to experience art,” Sawaya said.

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