Hyper-Realism Through Lego’s – “In Pieces” Art Exhibition

In Pieces

In case you didn’t know: Lego’s are the shit.

The only thing that could enhance the awesome nature of Lego’s is to make them the centerpiece of everyday moments and directly correlate them with modern photography. The art exhibit “In Pieces” takes Lego® sculptures created by Nathan Sawaya and fuses them into hyper-realistic digital photographs taken by Dean West. The end results are breathtakingly stunning photographs that will have you wondering whether or not everything in the photographs were actually created from Lego’s.

The images have been constructed using modern photography techniques, combined with specially sculpted LEGO® objects placed within the scenes. The combination not only builds on and accentuates the images’ aesthetic, but also compels the viewer to deconstruct each tableau, thereby exposing elements of the construction of cultural identity itself. Isolated individuals stand in recognizable but chillingly empty minimalist scenes with geometrical design, derived from common features of the American landscape. Their averted eyes gaze into nothingness, and a strange feeling of aloofness and displacement reverberates.†


Luckily, the photographer, Dean West was actually walking around the exhibit hall when I was checking out the pieces so I was able to overhear some of his responses to a couple of questions another patron was asking. According to Dean, some of the Lego sculptures were just too heavy to be held or worn by the models. Like in the umbrella photo, the model was able to hold the base of the umbrella but they were able to add in the top but everything else in the picture was real. And while he wasn’t sure of the exact number of Lego’s used in a couple of the pieces, he could tell us that the pieces were carefully glued together because sometimes the Lego’s would actually pull themselves apart. The painstaking process of sculpting with Lego’s and marrying them with digital photography “represents the direct process involved with digital photography today with clear references to pixilation and technology.†”


If you happen to be in the New York City Soho area, I highly recommend you swing by and check out the official grand opening tonight (February 28th, 2013) from 6 – 9 PM at the OPENHOUSE GALLERY, 201 Mulberry Street. ‘In Pieces’ will be open to the public until March 17th, 2013.

If you’re not local to the area, you can definitely check out the full gallery here: http://www.inpiecescollection.com.

Below is a sneak peek of what you’ll be able to see if you’re able to check out the exhibit in person.

† Source: ‘In Pieces’ Official Website: http://www.inpiecescollection.com