In Shoreditch right now, you can visit The Art of the Brick. This unique exhibition hosts a variety of artwork consisting of over 1 million Lego bricks and 80 pieces of art. The exhibition has received mixed reviews far, with some reviewers lauding Nathan Sawaya's art as an excellent blend of classic art and contemporary playthings (great for children interested in art), with others outlining the pointlessness of the whole project (rubbish for art connoisseurs). A re-occurrent question certainly seems to be, 'Well, why?'.
On the Art of the Brick website Sawaya is quoted as saying that he likes using Lego bricks because 'I like seeing people's reaction to artwork created from something with which they are familiar'. This statement can induce different reactions depending on your opinion on what art should be. The exhibition certainly seems to divide opinion between those who think art should serve a 'higher purpose', conversely to those who are keen to see art reach as wide as possible audience as possible.
Either way, there is a clear agenda here. Sawaya has laced his exhibition with Lego versions of classic artworks. You'll see: Girl With a Pearl Earring, The Starry Night, Michelangelo's David, the Mona Lisa, and The Scream to name a few.
No doubt the artists and organisers will be aware that these works are the key pieces in luring prospective visitors. I can't help but this is because there will be many people who have a almost sadistic fascination in seeing how these epics of art have been disfigured by Lego bricks. That is my major concern with this exhibition, it's exploiting people's interest in art being reconcieved through new techniques. In this case it's Lego bricks and I don't think anyone will disagree that Lego was never created to be an artistic medium.
Personally speaking this exhibition seems to be a step in the wrong direction for helping draw new audiences into art via re-interpretation. There are wealths of new technologies that can help audiences view and interact with art in ways that they never could before.
The Art of the Brick will not be for everyone but for those who are interested in new technology and classic art it may be worth a look-in.
Masterpieces of Art iBooks
Here at Flame Tree we make a range of amazing art books and helpful guides on technology. Over the last few months we've re-published some of our most popular art books into an iBook format. This isn't just any old export job; the books have been redesigned and adapted to suit the iBook format as much as possible. Our images really look incredible on the screen and the text can be enlarged as much as suits your needs.
We think this is an excellent way to marry together classic art and new technology. Our new iBooks let the art speak for itself, but can accommodate users in various new ways, such as using page links, online hyperlinks and text manipulation.
Have a look at this video that talks new users through our iBooks.
Our Masterpieces of Art iBooks will be available next week, check them out here.
- Visit the official site for Art of the Brick here.
- Hear the artist talk about his project here.
- Check out 35 mega-constructions here.