As an art major in college, you study various artists and the different mediums they use. There’s your traditional oils, acrylic, and watercolor paints, photography, pencil, pen, charcoal, conte crayon, and so forth. And you have your different periods of art, Renaissance, Impressionism, Contemporary, Modern, Pop Art, Op Art, Surrealism, Dada…it all gets a bit overwhelming and things tend to blend together. Art is about building upon someone else’s vision and making it your own. That’s why I truly appreciate when I stumble across an artist who is blazing his or her own path. In this case, it is Nathan Sawaya. Nathan uses a very peculiar medium: LEGO blocks.
I first saw Nathan’s works in an email forward. My dad found his LEGO cello and thought I’d be interested in seeing it, as I am a string player. When I investigated more into Nathan’s work, I was amazed. A former lawyer, Nathan decided to pursue art full time using LEGO blocks as his medium. His pieces use tens of thousands of LEGO blocks and sell in that range too. Sawaya has created replicas of Mount Rushmore, the monument to Iwo Jima, Han Solo in carbonite, the Brooklyn Bridge, portraits of celebrities such as Stephen Colbert, and many original pieces as well. His exhibit is currently touring the country, if you would like to see them in person.
Another artist that uses a unique medium and method is Kseniya Simonova. She is a sand animator from Ukraine, meaning she draws with sand. It is a performance art, creating a series of images by applying sand to a surface and drawing figures with one’s hands. Kseniya garnered notice when she enterted “Ukraine’s Got Talent” and won in 2009, featuring an animation that portrayed life during the USSR’s Great Patriotic War in WWII. It is amazing to watch her hands move so quickly and precisely, creating very emotional images.