Lego Art | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

Lego Art | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios


There’s something just natural about the way
two Lego pieces click together. It just feels right. For that moment those two things
are perfect and they’re meant for each other. With the lego you can create art, you can create films, you can create models. You can make something functional. You can make something that
you can wear. Everyone has snapped together a lego brick at one time or
another. It’s such a great feeling to hear that click. Lego has a.lways been a big part of my
life It’s something very tangible. It’s less
austere than an oil painting or a bronze sculpture and because of that it connects
with people in a way that I think art is supposed to. If you look at a computer screen it’s
just a bunch of colored squares if you zoom all the way in. And so I thought,
well, you could do that with lego bricks. You can create a mosaic, so I decided
that i was going to take this to another level. I’ve done portraits of a mother and
child together or a father and a child together and they’re so powerful because you can see the bond
between a parent and a child. I need to make it special to you. I need this to reflect
what’s inside of you and than somehow get that on to the canvas. I suppose an artist
working in any medium has this challenge but then I only have thirteen colors to do it
with. Recently I put together an exhibit that’s touring botanical gardens around
the United States that’s showing kids plants, insects, birds in a new way. And I
created twenty-seven larger than life sculptures that use almost half a
million lego pieces. It took my team and I five thousand hours to put all of these
sculptures together, some of which are as huge as an eight-foot tall hummingbird
all the way through to a life-size polar bear. Now you’ve got kids wandering around
botanical gardens that would otherwise never be at a botanical garden which is also really great. Whether it’s the message of what my particular piece is saying to you or
simply the connection that you have with the piece because of your connection
with lego, suddenly you’ve bonded with this in a way that you may not have if it was
perhaps the same story told in a different medium. That is really special. It helps bring people out
who otherwise might not be looking at art and then speaking to them in a special way. Every little thing you can think of,
Lego has a means or a way or a shape and a color to create that, if you so desire. I went to college for film but I realized there were a lot of
limitations to shooting live action film. So the legos are just a medium for me
to get what I want to create across. I really really love the video
game culture and I made a film called Bricks of War, based on Gears of War. So I made a two minute video basically emulating what it was like to play Gears of War; the behind the shoulders view, the cameras zoom in. So whenever I’m setting up a shot I look
at every little aspect of it; the lighting, the camera movement and I build custom dollies
to move the camera. When I saw Call of Duty Three coming out, I took their launch trailer and i said hey, let me try to recreate this.
It was a lot of fun because it gave me so many things to work with. We have a train car rolling in a subway system and I had to represent different countries. Right now I’ve been using cotton balls to make explosion effects and things. The little characters, they have
pivots, they have joints and you can really get across not only movement but motion, too, with the lego. It’s almost
perfectly made for stop-motion animation. There are films where I make it up
beforehand or there are even sometimes where I make it up as i go. Every film is
different and it’ll take anywhere between six weeks, sometimes it’ll take three months. Lego opens up all possibilities. I can literally create anything I want and I love everything about it. people can relate to lego because they
have this connection to it, they have it at home. I think there’s something about
that. I really wanted to create sculptures that hadn’t been seen before, you know, almost take the lego element out of it. There’s a sculpture called “My Boy” where
it’s a figure holding a small child figure in its arms. When I debuted this
sculpture at a museum, a woman started crying. She was not seeing this as a toy,
she was just seeing it as art. When I get to follow my passion and
create art for myself, it is a lot of art that’s about
metamorphosis. It’s about transition, it’s about liberation. There’s a piece called “Yellow” where this
figure is tearing his chest open and lego bricks are spilling out all over and people have said, is this about
agony? What is this piece about? For me it’s about opening oneself up to the
world. “Red” was a piece I did about transition. You
see this figure and it’s emerging from this pile of bricks and is he reaching to the sky or is he sinking into the brinks? I actually don’t really reveal. I want the
viewer to have a role when they’re looking at the art. I was trying to put my emotion into my
work, really create these sculptures that really had something to say. The fact that it’s made out of lego, it
opens the art world up to this whole new audience that may never even
think about taking a Saturday and going to an art museum and yet
because it’s made out of lego, they’re drawn. There’s nothing you can’t create with
lego toys and so every day is something new, something different, something fun.
How many toys can you really say that you can say I can create anything. It just has that broad span of all
spectrums. We’re really seeing a lego art movement that’s emerging. More and
more artists are using lego as a traditional medium and I think it’s
amazing.

93 thoughts on “Lego Art | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

  1. Proud to be danish xD

    Very cool video! It was enjoyable, and yeah, I agree this should be on television!

  2. This is an amazing little documentary! I loved it! This just proves how LEGO Bricks are a key to express yourself.

  3. Oh, awesome. I actually saw Nathan Sawaya's art years ago, specifically his piece "Mask," which happened to coincide *precisely* with a cover art concept I'd had for an album of my music. The sculpture is humanoid, depicting a smooth featureless head removing a death/drama mask from its face. I contacted him, got his permission to use the image of his sculpture for not-for-profit limited distribution on an album titled "Taking Off the Mask."

  4. He(the last guy) revealed in Stephen Colbert that he glues them together. He made a model of stephen(made before the show) when he came as a guest.

  5. The art shown is incredible, but…

    >>>Everyone has snapped together a lego brick
    That is incorrect, I haven't, for instance. I was always told it was too expensive by my parents. I took five minutes to look up the prices just now and I've got to admit they were right.

  6. The first two, standard sculptures and stop motion, are very typical uses. Really cool to get a little insight from them to see the design process. The last guy though had a pretty deep and reflective aspect to his art. While it is cool to see big sculptures and video game scenes, the emotion of the human aspect in Lego was a strong reflection in emotion. Anyhow, good range of artistic uses of Lego, from designing cool things, filming awesome scenes, and expressing ideas.

  7. i can relate to this, when i was younger (im 18 now) i loved my toy cars, the only problem was that the trucks and trailers i had didnt fit the purpose i wanted them to, and seeing that i came from a racing family, i wanted something that i had seen at tracks, which was a large 4 door dually with a gooseneck trailer that had a deck and tool box on it, aswell as be able to haul a car, so i built it, and i still have it, and i would have built a car for the combo but i ran out of pieces…

  8. This documentary is very well done. Alex Kobbs is a very talented young man who makes stop motion animation.

    The medium of using Lego as a basis in expressing the figure and head is well done. A similar kind of work is made by Sculptor, Ralph Helmick who has been making figurative monuments for over two decades without the use of Lego.

    It was a pleasure seeing this Youtube program.
    Daniel Altshuler
    Sculptor
    [email protected]

  9. I love the plain old simple Lego bricks because you have all the simple tools to make just about any sculpture you can imagine. I don't like that they just sell "sets" that just give you obscure pieces and instructions on what to build. I tried to go buy some of the plain bricks but all I could find was the sets like Lego Star Wars or Lego Board Games. I wish the simple bricks were more available in stores.

  10. i don't hate them because they are cheap sometimes and have a few good pieces to offer… however in my mind they promote Lego. They do take away some profits, but it will make lego work harder to make even better products. Also, they might be made by another company or look different, but everyone still calls them legos. I understand your point.

  11. Yep haha the legit NFL team jerseys are really expensive but I found a very dope website that is giving this seasons real NFL jerseys out for free! bit.ly/10p193e?=lptmb

    THUMBS UP IF THIS DEAL WORKED FOR YOU!!

  12. My grandpa when he was alive made a lego sculpture of the seven biblical churches for my grandmother, out of the old lego blocks. When my grandma died my mom inherited it, she has it in her room now

  13. I think that PBS certainly has a good thing going on here on the internet, so far I have enjoyed all of the PBS sponsored channels so much that I don't miss an episode! Keep up the good work guys, and I can't wait to see what PBS does next!

  14. art….Before we had no computer graphics so we had to draw and shape the ideas with suit or flexible mass "Clay". Lego is the analog age creative playground designer tool!
    I know designers who are still building on the same project started 20 years ago, the first pyramid in the same dimensions as the Keops Pyramid. Will even be built in Lego or 3D printed! the run has began.. legooooo land heer vi comme….

  15. Take a look at this top ten video of album cover art made from Lego. https://youtu.be/hHrLLqckBsA

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