If You Build It (From Legos) They Will Come

Arts / Article

What is it about Nathan Sawaya’s sculptures that make Big and Little kids alike go gaga? Is it because these whimsical works are made from … Legos? Likely. Indeed, that cityscape sculpture, that life-size blue figure with cracking skull, that cello, are all made from those little building bricks so familiar to children everywhere.

Sawaya has become a bit of a celebrity himself,

after crafting sculptures of real celebrities from his trademark building material, so it’s easy to understand why the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood would present a second solo show of his in as many years, called “Replay.” In fact, not all these sculptures resemble the traditional, free-standing form; some appear to be paintings, and all are made from thousands and thousands of bricks. That some of the pieces are so rounded and so realistic looking adds to the wonderment when taking in these square brick works.

And if children are in tow, hang on! They love this stuff. But that’s not to say Sawaya’s skill and vision is childish. He has made accessible art, but with wit and a sense of self-awareness that is refreshing. And really, the incredible detail and form are something to behold — while some are fun, others are more disturbing, revealing an angst with our state of being (the aforementioned cracked skull, for instance.)

Children have been encouraged to interact with “Replay” on another level, in that the Center sponsored the “Florida Brick Creation Challenge” for categories of kids six years and older. Their Lego creations will be on display from Aug. 7 through the 15th.

On that day — also the final day of the exhibit itself — the winners for Most Creative, Most Colorful, and Most Complex will be announced. It will hard not to be charmed by the whole experience.

“Replay” runs through Aug. 15 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954-921-3274; artandculturecenter.org. “Florida Brick Creation Challenge” winner day, Aug. 15; 954-921-3274; [email protected]