When I first saw this magnificent LEGO sculpture by Ekow Nimako, I knew it had to be his. The elegant, all-black theme is his trademark. But what I didn’t realize is that this is much more than a beautiful fictitious character. This is Anansi, an important deity in West African mythos. Ekow has a wonderful talent for pulling you in and inspiring you to look further, both literally and figuratively. So I’m here to share the gift of what I learned… and you might want to zoom in.
The new Everyone is Awesome set is, well, awesome. But inclusivity and cool monochrome minifigures aren’t exactly new ideas. Just ask Andreas Lenander – they’ve been building in those themes for a while now. Andreas has combined earlier builds into a stellar group display that showcases the full range of melty creative possibilities. Out of the group, my favorites are still the black and white builds, even if the stark contrast there doesn’t lean into the more colorful…hold up. Is that Batman I see hiding behind the red waterfall?
Don’t think that Andreas is limited to one thematic style, though. Check out a full range of great builds that we’ve featured in the past!
LEGO 40516 Everyone is Awesome set was announced just a few days ago. Designed by Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design at LEGO, it is the first set that directly addresses the LGBTQ+ community.
LEGO is celebrating diversity by revealing a new product that features 11 monochrome minifigures arranged as a Pride flag. 40516 Everyone Is Awesome was designed by LEGO’s Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton and draws its name from the catchy tune in The LEGO Movie. Ashton says, “I wanted to create a model that symbolises inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.” The company plans to for the set to be available in time for Pride Month in June. With 346 pieces and 11 minifigures, the set will be available June 1 for US $34.99 | CAN $44.99 | UK £30.
The Mogul steam locomotive, also known as the “2-6-0”, is a pretty classic-looking train especially for model or toy trains. František Hajdekr fashioned a sleek looking light grey LEGO 2-6-0 in monochrome, and it is certainly a beauty.
While most LEGO train are built to run on track, this train does not, but there is an upside to that because in this build Hajdekr uses technic pulley wheels in combination with gears to render locomotive wheels and these are pretty aesthetically pleasing choices. I think the fez piece in black flipped upside down for the chimney was also a clever use of parts. The brick-built train tender hauled by the engine contains many different types of black LEGO elements serving as the fuel source for the engine – coal. With all the right parts and pieces, this build is ready to go full steam ahead.
Taste the rainbow? No, that doesn’t seem right. Build the rainbow! With minifigs in matching colours! That’s better. Caz Mockett did exactly that when she undertook the challenge of building isometric minifigure habitats in most of the current LEGO colours. The massive rainbow collage you see below is beautiful, but the vignettes really shine individually. Take a closer look and notice the details and parts usage. Each isometric habitat tells a unique story of the minifig and their surroundings.
Few builders tackle the challenge of building in monochrome, working with LEGO elements of the same colour. When they do, it’s usually in white or a shade of grey, and the build is something sculptural. Caz on the other hand went for all the zany colours LEGO has to offer, from earthen tones to magentas and azures. She shows true dedication in collecting rare and expensive minifigure parts for her coloured habitats.
Monochrome geometric shapes descending into infinity – this is the only way to describe Simon Liu’s amazing “Hexahedral” LEGO model which can also be referred to as “Cube City”. Surely it is an interesting architectural concept, the model itself reminds me of drawings done by M.C. Escher, with all of its interesting perspectives, spaces, nooks and crannies.
The visible city portion of the build is divided into cubicle-like zones each containing various buildings and houses, these are mostly rendered using 1×1 modified headlight bricks topped with either a double or pyramid 1×1 slope – all in light grey. Various other small pieces including a ton of 1×1 tiles, ingots, 1×2 grilles, levers, and other modified 1×1 pieces are included to create intricate designs and spaces within the cubicle zones. Any area that has not been carved into this slab of stone-colored brick is plated with 1×1 tiles in a minesweeper-like grid. This build is just wonderful to look at especially with the visual contrast Simon creates between empty space and grey plastic.
It is the Year of the Ox and we have not yet gotten tired of your OX-related LEGO creations. My case in point, Ian Ying knows that what glitters is pure gold. It’s an ox, it’s expertly crafted in LEGO and it’s entirely gold. What’s not to love? It’s especially poignant being that 2021 is a Golden Ox year and is said to be a very lucky year indeed. We haven’t had a golden ox year since 1961 and I’m told that year wasn’t without its charms. Other builders have used monochrome with some pretty amazing results. Also, check out some other Year of the Ox creations that we have featured.
An experiment occurred when Christian Lintan accidentally discovered some cool connections with another project which, in turn, led to this. What you’re looking at is a transforming LEGO Gundam-type mech who can become sort of like Mechagodzilla. He tells us he’s beyond thrilled with the result and we agree. Working in monochrome can be difficult at times but the end result is just about always visually striking. You ought to take some time to check out other LEGO artists who have worked in a monochrome palette.
Some LEGO creations look more like what you traditionally think of as art than others. Large scale sculptures are a good example of this, and Ekow Nimako’s are my favourite LEGO sculptures, and his latest piece is no exception. Part hawk, part Lynx, this Griffyx cub is all beauty.
While this isn’t the first time The Brothers Brick has shared one of Ekow’s creations, this is the first one that I’ve had the pleasure of writing about. And like Lino before me, I’m having a hard time picking my jaw up off the floor and finding the right words. LEGO sculptures are so often made up of the easier-to-acquire-in-mass-quantities bricks, most notably the most basic of all LEGO elements, the 2×4 brick. But Ekow’s palette includes a much more vast array of shapes and sizes of LEGO pieces. In what I can only imagine is a ridiculously thoughtful process, he’s able to craft the best, most organic-looking brick-built shapes I’ve ever seen.
Take the Griffyx. Just by looking at it, you can feel the way it’s stretching its neck as if it just woke up and it’s loosening up its muscles. You can see the flick of its tail, as it whips back and forth. The fur looks soft to the touch and the wings – expertly engineered out of smaller chima wings – look primed and ready to take flight. I don’t get those same strong sensations from other brick-built sculptures, only Ekow’s. Will my editors allow me to go as far as to say he’s the greatest LEGO sculpture of our time? Nothing against all the other brilliant brick artists out there, but Ekow is just rewriting the game.
There’s just something about a clean monochrome LEGO sculputure that draws me in. This build by Aido K reminds me of an alabaster statue in my parents’ home. The purity and gracefulness of the white on black is beautiful, although I think it would be just as elegant if the color was reversed. It has to be difficult to create this kind of movement, especially with these angles. And it’s a little wild to consider that the head must be sitting on a single stud.
For a medium that’s based around the core idea of “you can make anything you want,” LEGO builders just love to impose limitations on their creations. Things like “use only one color of brick” or “it has to be symmetrical,” or even the tricky “you can’t have any exposed studs.” Once again drawing inspiration from the drawings of M.C. Escher, Simon Liu takes that particular set of challenges and overcomes them. (Again.) Escher’s Drawing Hands transforms from flat art into a sculpture of hands creating themselves out of LEGO. Building Hands adds just the right touch of meta-level humor to a great build.
I particularly like how Simon found a clever way around the “no exposed studs” limit. By replicating the studs out of 1×1 round tiles, they both flaunted and followed the rules. Sure, the use of red lights may annoy the “monochromatic purists” among us, but I have a feeling they’re in the minority. No one said anything about limiting the light sources, after all. Or if they did, I didn’t hear about it.