Interview With Nathan Sawaya - The Artist Behind The Art Of The Brick: DC Super Heroes
I love Lego and DC super heroes made my childhood. Naturally, my interest was peaked by 'The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes' art exhibit in London. Here's what I thought of it, along with an exclusive interview with the mind behind this amazing work - Lego artist Nathan Sawaya.
Created using nearly 2,000,000 bricks, this legendary Lego artist has been busy adding his creative stamp to DC's biggest super heroes and super villains.
From faithful recreations and immersive installations, to the creatively minimal and rather humorous 'origin stories,' this is a must see for more than just nerds like myself.
And what is Nathan trying to tell us through this art? Simple - to never forget those inner childhood dreams we all had. Imagination is lost quickly in the face of adult responsibility (I can vouch for that), but you should never lose that longing for more.
So, my thoughts on this (and the good 'soundbite' sentence) would be this. The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes is a masterpiece to both nerds and the general public alike, perfectly curated with mesmerising effects and impactful enough to captivate audiences of all ages.
Seriously, my pictures and video do not do this work justice. You have to see it for yourself.
This left me with questions that I just had to ask the artist. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to interview him!
NRM: What was your inspiration behind doing this exhibit?
Nathan: I was looking to do a new exhibition focussing on themes of good and evil, which led me to thoughts of heroes and villains. That led me to the pages of comic books. And from there I turned to DC Comics. Several years ago I had been asked to create a piece of artwork for DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. as part of their We Can Be Heroes campaign. Since I had a previous relationship with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., it made sense to discuss the potential of working with them again for this new exhibition.
What is your favourite piece and why?
It is difficult to pick a favorite piece because I put so much into each sculpture, so they are all my favorites. If I had to pick one it might be the life size Batmobile. It was such an honor to create the most famous vehicle in all of comics.
Which one was the most complicated to build for you?
Each sculpture had different challenges. One of the most complicated was Superman in Blue which depicts a life size Superman standing akimbo with his cape flapping in the wind. Now historically I enjoy creating human forms, so creating the standing Superman was not the toughest part, but the real challenge was using the rectangular LEGO bricks to make the cape look like it was thin fabric blowing in the wind.
On one of your Batman pieces, the descriptive plaque contained the 'Here's to the crazy ones' quote from Steve Jobs. Why is this?
I think Batman has a bit of crazy in him. And I think Steve Jobs had some Bruce Wayne in him. Both Batman and Steve Jobs could appreciate a well-designed gadget.
Which is your favourite superhero out of the DC Universe and why?
I grew up loving Batman, but one of my current favorites is Bunker. Bunker can use his mind to manipulate floating bricks: a power to which I can relate.
Any future Lego art constructions in the works?
Yes, I have multiple Art of the Brick exhibitions that are currently on tour around the globe. And I am always working on brand new works of art. You can follow me on twitter or Instagram for previews of new works: @NathanSawaya.
Finally, any words of inspiration to anyone who wants to step into creative Lego building like you have?
Practice, practice, practice. The most important thing you can do is practice working with bricks so you can make rectangular bricks look like curves.