- Age Range: 9 and up
- Hardcover: 248 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (November 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593275889
- ISBN-13: 978-1593275884
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of the Brick: A Life in LEGO Hardcover – November 14, 2014
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About the Author
Nathan Sawaya is the artist who first brought LEGO into the art world. He has more than 4 million tiny colored bricks in his New York and Los Angeles studios.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is Nathan’s story. It was not what I was expecting.
Most of the LEGO books hitting the shelves these days are glorified idea books, showcasing hundreds of off the wall creations designed to delight and inspire. Sawaya’s book is quite different. It’s a cross between an artist statement and his life story. It’s a passionate and entertaining story of his quest to find himself through a medium we all know as LEGO bricks.
This hardcover book features 247 pages and an interesting LEGO creation appears on nearly every one of them. But the creations aren’t designed to stoke a young builder’s mind. The pictures evoke emotions, tell a story, or hint at man’s struggle to survive in a tortuous world. This book is truly about art. I restate this because this book belongs on a coffee table in a philosopher’s workshop, not necessarily alongside LEGO building books.
The book begins with a declaration by Sawaya that art is not optional. He notes that art helps fight depression, builds self-esteem and makes the world a better place. From this launching point, Sawaya takes the reader/viewer on a journey through his artistic career ranging from his first contact with the LEGO Company (via a cease and desist letter) to his girlfriend’s decision to join him for breakfast rather than visit her 70th floor office of The World Trade Center on 9/11/01.
Sawaya does a great job of providing the reader with intimate insights and the back-story to dozens of his creations. For instance, Sawaya’s enthusiasm for texture shines through on his description of Red Dress. He also shares that his observation of an elderly couple holding hands inspired him to create Everlasting.
While many of Sawaya’s LEGO creations capture a slice of humanity and can sometimes be intense, plenty of creations in this book are just plain fun.
A few of my favorite lighthearted creations are a life-sized dinosaur skeleton, a friendly dog, a life-sized sculpture of Conan O’Brien and a pop-up book. And what a treat it must be to find a Hugman, one of a series of miniature LEGO sculptures that Sawaya places throughout his native New York to delight complete strangers who find them hugging trees, poles, bike racks and more.
I give this book five stars, but only once proper expectations are set. If you have seen any of Sawaya’s works live, this is a must-own book. And if you like stories about how one’s childhood inspires art, you have to get this. I am delighted to add this book to my collection and definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes both LEGO bricks and serious art. The Art of The Brick, A Life In LEGO, is indeed about life.