The world’s largest display of Lego art features intricate replicas of masterpieces

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“The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Nathan Sawaya.
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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

As a lawyer on Wall Street, Nathan Sawaya felt like he needed a creative outlet. So he turned to Legos.

Sawaya started building sculptures from the blocks as a hobby, but got more serious about his work over time. He pursued ambitious projects like creating life-size sculptures of people, and found that when he displayed photos of his creations on his personal website, enough people looked at them to crash the site.

“I realized it was time to make a change,” he tells Business Insider. “I left the law firm to become a full-time artist and go play with toys.”

For the past decade, Sawaya has been building Lego sculptures as a career. His current exhibition, called “The Art of the Brick,” mainly features Lego replicas of famous masterpieces, though some Sawaya originals are included as well.

Check it out.


“The Art of the Brick” is currently at San Diego’s Fleet Museum through January 29.

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

With over 120 works, it’s the largest display of Lego art in the world.

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

The show has traveled to over 80 cities around the world since 2007.

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

There are many Lego versions of recognizable paintings in the exhibition, including “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” …

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

… “American Gothic” …

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

… and even “Mona Lisa.”

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

There are sculptures too, like “The Thinker” …

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

… “Augustus” …

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

… and “Discobolus.”

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

The T-rex, made of over 80,000 bricks, took him an entire summer to build.

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Getty Images

Sawaya hopes his sculptures will make art history more accessible to younger folks.

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick

“How does one talk to a five year old about the Venus de Milo? It might be a tough conversation,” Sawaya says. “But by representing the Venus de Milo out of Lego bricks, it opens the door and allows the child to connect to the art through a medium they understand.”

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Nathan Sawaya/The Art of the Brick