Tag Archives: Sculpture

It’s hard to define which LEGO models are sculptural and which are just a regular pile of bricks, but we know a good sculpture when we see one — even if it’s a funny cartoon character and not the Venus de Milo.

The concrete results of artistic abstraction

When building with LEGO bricks, most people opt for recreating something that mirrors our experiences. We draw inspiration from the real world — maybe we look to movies, literature, or some other media, but our creations look like things that exist…or could possibly exist…in our reality. What, then, should we make of the artistic abstractions of Crimso Giger? Even though they exist as physical models, these spaces are like nothing we’d expect to encounter. Crimso has combined geometric abstraction with sculpture, leading us into an unfamiliar world without giving us a roadmap.
Sure, you can try and make sense of these images by trying to force some sort of logic onto them. Take Abstract – Yellow Grey Black, for example. The choice of colors and shapes reminds me of the interior of a computer, or a cityscape that’s been bent like a scene from Inception or Doctor Strange. But that’s just my perspective – maybe this is something else entirely.

Abstract - Yellow Grey Black

Abstract – White Black Red makes me think of gaming. The red and black tiles seem to form a checkerboard, and the black and white groupings remind me of backgammon boards and dice. But what is that construction in the center? Is the “x” shape in the 1x6x5 rectangular girder a call out to Tic-Tac-Toe? Have I completely missed the point? I just don’t know!

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Tom Servo and me – a journey part 4 [Feature]

Previously on Tom Servo and MePart 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

When we last left Chris Doyle, he had just finished building his latest replica of Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000. All that was left was to take photos and write up the summary article. Simple, right? Well, if you’ve read the previous installments, you know things rarely went according to plan throughout this journey. Why should the last few steps be any easier? When things go disastrously wrong during the final photo shoot, Chris will find himself questioning if getting back into LEGO building was the worst idea he ever had.

Tom Servo and Me - The end of the journey

In the end, it will all work out. We promise.

Read more about the final leg of Chris’s journey in rebuilding his LEGO Tom Servo model.

“Great ambition is the passion of a great character”

When a statue is erected of someone riding a horse, they usually follow certain rules. If the rider died in battle the horse would be rearing on two legs. If the horse has one leg up, the rider died of an injury and if the horse is standing on all four legs, then the rider died of natural causes. With this in mind Filbrick has built a statue of Napoleon Bonaparte on a horse standing on all fours. I particularly like the textured “greebling” effect on the horse using wheels, gears, Bionicle parts, radar dishes and other bits usually employed in building spaceships.

LEGO NAPOLEON STATUE

Some statues of Napoleon on horseback have been erected in all three leg configurations, because the cause of his death can be a topic of hot debate. Did he die bravely in battle defending the French army? Was he poisoned by enemies while in exile on St. Helena as so many history books suggest or was it just the unkind fate of the winds? Autopsies reveal that the cause of death was stomach cancer which may have been brought on by excessive levels of arsenic. (A-ha!) However, later studies, not available during his time, stated that Napoleon (and so many others of his day) were being exposed to arsenic throughout his entire lifetime from glues and dyes and not by purposeful murderous intent. It would seem that Filbrick’s depiction of a serene horse on all four legs may be the correct configuration all along.

What exactly am I looking at?

I’m always impressed when someone builds something with LEGO bricks that doesn’t have a strong tie to an established theme or building style. It takes a special kind of eye to look beyond the mundane, and builder why.not? has that vision. Or they had a vision. Or maybe just a very bad dream. Whatever the source, they have brought to us an unsettling image indeed.
The central eye is built from 1×2 and 1×4 plates, using subtle color variation in light blue, tan, and blue grey to create a convincing iris against a white brick background.

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Eyelashes are constructed from minifigure hands clipped to the modified plates and tiles that create a smooth curve to the eyelid. There’s even a curved brick to represent the tear duct.
Additional creepy details include an abundance of Technic (eye)ball joints, a floating maw made of teeth and quarter-round tiles, and dangling red tentacles. The heart uses exotic elements like a sand blue dinosaur tail and medium lavender flexible hose. There’s even a dragon wing hidden in the blood(?) in the upper right.

I’m not sure what this piece says to me. But I’m kind of glad it can’t talk. I doubt I’d want to hear the messsage it brings.

It’s not who I am underneath, but what I build that defines me

In this, the Caped Crusader’s 80th birthday year, what better way to celebrate the influence and impact of Bob Kane’s creation than with Timofey Tkachev‘s large-scale LEGO sculpture? The Batman has rarely looked better in the brick — the model’s shaping is spot-on, perfectly capturing those to-die-for Bat-Abs, and making a nice job of the comic world’s Second-Most-Iconic-Chin (Judge Dredd is clearly No. 1, in case you were wondering). The sculpting of the bat sigil on the chest is worth a good look, and I dread to think about the tricky connections which were required underneath all that armour to get the angles right.

LEGO Batman Bust

Then along came an incredible LEGO artist, Ekow Nimako

As an avid builder and a contributor for The Brothers Brick, I have seen a lot of LEGO creations. I mean A LOT of LEGO creations. To put this in perspective as to what it is like to be an adult LEGO builder, I have a LEGO room in my home — most of us do, some more elaborate than others. Whether it be a corner of the laundry room, a repurposed bedroom, or an elaborate add-on suite built for this reason, we all have a dedicated space to build LEGO. A perusal of my phone contacts reveals that the vast majority of my friends are LEGO friends. We eat, sleep and breath this stuff daily. By now I’ve written a fair number of articles and am confident that I can at least amuse if not inspire or enlighten our readers. With all this in mind, you’d think there would be no one to baffle me and put me at a loss for words. But then along came Ekow Nimako.

See more of this amazing LEGO sculpture

Coalesce in this minifigure-scaled gallery

One of my favorite things is the intersection of LEGO and art. Brandon Griffith has similar feelings, as expressed in his description for his creation Coalesce, built for the LEGO booth at 2019’s Comic-Con. At first glance, I thought this was an 11×11 vignette of a gallery scene – the “exposed studs” along the top of the wall combined with the red, blue and purple “bricks” in perfect proportions. Looking closer, though, you recognize the minifigures and your sense of scale has a dramatic zoom out. Almost as an afterthought, you can spot a lime green “1×1 brick” oozing in the corner, and notice that the gaps in the wall look like brick cut-outs.

Coalesce

Complimenting the excellent craftsmanship is the inclusive theme of the piece as a whole. To coalesce is to “come together”; the combining of red and blue stripes into a new purple element invites the viewer to think about not only color theory and LEGO building but more complex issues in the unification of different ideas and concepts.

Coalesce

And how’s this for interactivity? Brandon invites anyone lucky enough to attend Comic-Con 2019 to stop by the LEGO booth and pose a figure on the model!

This planter will grow on you

Realism in LEGO sculpture is a difficult thing to achieve, and when it’s done right it can be amazing. Barbara Hoel has created a tiny slice of (plant) life that feels very real indeed with Small Planter on Books. The human-scaled books each have their own unique style and size. The variations in the spines make this feel like a real pile of tomes, and not just a repeated build in different colors.

Small Planter on Books

The planter and greenery really are what really caught my eye, though. Seeing a plant that is, perhaps, not the perfect specimen of health is pretty unusual. One side of the plant looks like it’s been kept out of the sun a little too long, while other parts are thriving. Unicorn horns and transparent green ball joints represent new growth. Rare blue capes and technic gears make for some vibrant flowering bodies and buds.

There is a detail view of an alternate build of the planter in Barbara’s photostream. I recommend checking it out for even more great botanical creations.

Little Apple gets an upgrade

This little LEGO beige box, by Thilo Schoen, is none other than the original 1984 Apple Macintosh. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few builds of the Mac in question. But Thilo’s Hello Mac! is sporting something special. With the real one traditionally packing 128 KB of RAM, this sweet little recreation has been retrofitted with technology 25 years its junior: a 2009 iPod nano. Built tightly around this powerful futuristic processer, Thilo has kept its iconic shaping with some seamless SNOT work. The beveled edge framing the screen hasn’t been lost in the process either. I’m particularly fond of the modified 1×2 grille bricks used along the bottom as venting. Most impressive to me though, was that he has raised the front side up one plate thickness. This subtlety allows the whole unit to give it its classic tilted face.

Hello Mac!

A beautiful bonsai built from bulk-bought bricks

André Pinto‘s build took me by surprise. I said to myself, “That’s a nice LEGO bonsai tree photographed on a nice piece of antique furniture.” Part of that is true; it is a nice LEGO bonsai tree. But part of it is false, too, because a closer look revealed that the table and the rug were also made entirely from LEGO. André says that there are 5,000 pieces in the build, but 85% of them are the limited selection that comes from the Pick-a-Brick walls in LEGO retail stores. The large amounts of somewhat odd pieces comes together for a stunning build.

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The sand green telescopes form a lovely border around the edge of the table, and the copious yellow click hinges provide a surprisingly realistic rug texture beneath. The white flowers still attached to the sprue drape elegantly from the branches of the tree. The details that deceived me, however, are the reflective surface of the table with small petals on it, and the finely crafted legs, with cross supports, beneath it. What a clever use of bulk parts!

Epic Chinese characters come to life through LEGO in glorious fashion

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is to Chinese literature what the works of William Shakespeare are to English literature. A semi-historical story set in the time period of the Three Kingdoms (A.D. 169-280), the novel was perhaps written in the 14th century, though specific dates are hard to come by. It tells the story of how the Han dynasty gradually fell apart and became three independent kingdoms and all of the bitter rivalries and infighting that led to that point. Among all of the hundreds of characters in the novel, LEGO builder Jae Won Lee has chosen the main protagonist, Liu Bei, his chief strategist, Zhuge Lian, and the Five Tiger Generals who fought for them. The five generals are depicted in stunning fashion astride charging stallions, manes and tails flowing with the speed of their charge, and the other two men are nobly standing.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (the Five tiger generals)

The appearances of the generals are inspired by Chinese artwork, complete with the unique coloration of each. The dynamic posing of many of the models puts this a step above most similar builds. There might be more studs showing than some builders would prefer, but it works well with this style. They deserve a closer look!

click here to see each of the generals up close

A tear can either carry pain, or hope

We featured an emotionally packed creation by Malin Kylinger a few months ago, and the builder returns to the theme with another scene in a similar style.

A lonely tear of pain and hope

The build has a very authentic LEGO style, using some prominent elements, like official dragons and an eagle, in their intended way. The same impression is facilitated by the brick and slope design of the translucent outer shell of the tear, reminiscent of brick sculptures one can see in Legoland parks, LEGO stores and other promotions around the world. Many LEGO artists choose serious themes for their creations, but Malin’s very loyal approach to the brick as a child’s toy makes the contrast between the message and the medium even more pronounced. The builder says the creation is open to interpretation, and mine is “contrasts everywhere!”