Art of the Brick

Today, I finally went to see The Art of The Brick: DC Superheroes at the Southbank in London.

However, getting there was easier said than done. First, my dad and I had to buy returns for the London Tube, and once we got into London, we tried to catch a tube to Southbank. Turns out, we just needed to fin a bus going to Waterloo Bridge and walk from there to get to Southbank. We were very annoyed, because finding the bus proved to very frustrating.

AFter we found the right bus, we got off at the second stop, and had to ask for directions to the Southbank. At this point, we were getting really frustrated, because every time we asked someone where the show was, they either didn’t know or kept saying to go a  little further. At first, we didn’t know if we were getting close to the exhibition or not. However, we retraced our steps and saw a sign that pointed in the direction of the show. We followed it and finally came upon the Southbank.

Once we were inside, we watched a video introduction by the artist, Nathan Sawaya. He is an American artist, well-known for making large-scale sculptures out of Lego bricks. I used to play with Lego when I was younger, but Nathan has taken his love of Lego and made amazing pieces of art with them. For his latest exhibition, sponsored by DC comics and Warner Brothers, Nathan has created sculptures of DC’s superheroes, from Batman to the Flash.

20170804_151110 Using over a million Lego bricks, Sawaya has managed to bring these iconic characters to life. They were truly aware-inspiring and displays the potential of Lego as an art medium. It’s like I always say, you can make anything out of anything. There is no limit when it comes to art.

Nathan even recreated classic comic book covers out of Lego.

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I was really impressed with the Lego covers. Nathan used the right coloured bricks to recreate each cover perfectly, and he even included the bar code.

If I had to pick my favorite Lego sculpture,  it would be this one:

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This image is very haunting. It is a skull of Brainiac, one of my favorite DC villains. Nathan made something scary and horrific out of a children’s toy. The reflection beneath the sculpture only makes it even more frightful and menacing.

The venue was slightly smaller than I thought it would be, but it wasn’t a major distraction. Looking back, I wished I stayed longer. It was a great show, and Nathan’s sculptures were wonderful. I hope to go to another one of his exhibitions again in the future.

Notes:

1. DC and Warner Brothers are still pushing Cyborg as a founding member of the JL, instead of The Martian Manhunter. Personally, I am tired of this. I wished they just listen to fans and put Manhunter back on the league, and put Cyborg back on the Titans. It just doesn’t feel right.

2. In the villains exhibit, batman’s villains were featured prominently. As to be expected. I know they are popular, but it wouldn’t have hurt to include a few more sculptures of other DC villains, like Captain Cold. Yes, there were sculptures of other dc villains (Sinestro, Deathstroke, Brainiac and Bizarro), but it felt like Batman’s villains were taking up the spotlight and their were more sculptures for them. In-fact, Joker had at least three Lego pieces devoted to himself. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: The Joker is just as overexposed and overrated as Batman! Aside from my nitpicking, the sculptures were great. I especially like the sculpture of Bizarro. It depicts Bizarro staring into a mirror, and a reflection of Superman is staring back. Is this what Bizarro sees when he looks at himself? A reflection of what he wants to be? Or is it a reminder of what he will never be? Very poignant and haunting.

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3. I noticed that they used comic book covers for the walls of the exhibition. Each one showed a hero scowling or gritting their teeth. It would seem Warner Brother STILL don’t realize that this is not the 1990s. The Flash and Green Lantern are not dark and brooding like Batman. It’s like they have never heard  of smiling superheroes before. Not every hero should act like Batman!

Overall, it was a great exhibition, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Lego, DC comics or both.

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