This week’s builder should be well known to constant readers of TBB for his outstanding genre-spanning models. Whether you know him as Alex Jones or Orion Pax, you are probably familiar with his many eye-catching builds often based on popular media. From Transformers to The Munsters to Breaking Bad, the one constant is quality. I met up with Alex in Berlin, the the most “bombed” city in Europe, where he took me on an early morning tour of the city’s important pieces by Alias, Bimer and El Bocho. We talked about 99 Luftballons, Frederick 1 Barbosa vs. Frederick 1 of Prussia and which of our nations is ultimately responsible for David Hasselhoff
KG: Talk about your experience as a contributor to the book Constructed Styles, from first contact to print. There is a great shot of you posing with Kjeld and Jørgen, how was this connected to the book, and did you guys talk about bombing? It is difficult to imagine those two suits being down with that type of artistic expression, even if it is in LEGO.
AJ: My experience with LEGO regarding the book, my work with the company (projects/concepts) has left me with different feelings. For sure the whole thing was a big hit in the beginning. In 2009 when i started with LEGO as a concept designer for concept lab, was about the same time that Cole Blaq and I met for the first time. We spent hours on thinking what we could build that is new and never seen before. Since we both have a graffiti background the decission to try and build a graffiti with LEGO came very soon. After my collegue Henk Holsheimer who is also the main author of the book came across these styles he saw something new in it and wanted to push it a bit further. The first exhibition was the Constructed Styles event in Munich 2009. The book is all about that exhibition and the artists that were part of it. The picture with the two “suits” was taken in Nürnberg at Toyfair 2010. It was my 30th birthday and LEGO has a “LEGO people only” aftershow party where they usually present the new product lines. On that event we had the chance to present the models we built for the exhibition to the guys from TLG. Also you can see in the book that I gave two different LEGO graffitis to Kjield and Jörn. It seems they still have them in their office, I have been told… When LEGO started to approach the big market with the LEGO art thing, they opened up a gallery in Berlin where I was first invited to present my stuff. But when the opening event was taking place I was no longer invited. A berlin company worked together with TLG for the LEGO art box and thought my stuff was to much street art related and wouldn´t sell anyway. That was about the time my contract with LEGO ended after two years as a freelancer with them and i decided it was time to move on.