I was looking at the upcoming LEGO Ideas Tree House set (https://ideas.lego.com/projects/ab7ac32b-e713-489d-bdc6-e14b22738ba8) the other day, and it really moved me.
It’s happened a few times recently, when the skilful design of a LEGO-master has given me that ‘fluffy tummy’-feeling normally reserved for exquisite art in a gallery.
Is LEGO art?
Sure, it’s plastic blocks, but I think more and more serious artwork is being made with it as the medium..
I’d love to be able to track the transition from the big, colourful, chunky LEGO models (as seen in early LEGOland and the official LEGO exhibitions of the 80s and 90s) to the iconic artworks we are seeing these days.
It may have started with the early Star Wars and Harry Potter sets, when LEGO decided that studless sculptures of real-life were part of the future for our favourite bricks.
I’ve never been good at the aesthetics of a build, I was more function over form – but there are some artists who are taking this to the max!
Near-unlimited supplies of increasingly-complex elements and e-building tools are making LEGO into something an artist can work with.
LEGO themselves, are bringing out photo-realistic cars and bikes which, as they are arguably works of art themselves – move even standard LEGO sets well-beyond basic engineering.
I’d contend that in the future, Art Schools and indeed Auction Houses will need a Plastic Block Sculpture category, alongside Oils, Watercolour and Bronzework – indeed, I don’t think it will be long before we see a LEGO artist crossing the line to main-stream exhibitions and becoming famous enough to sell their fabulous, spell-binding creations for the millions we see in fine art sale.
If a mucky bed can win a Turner Prize, why can’t a 4000-piece plastic tree?