See the Work of Nathan Sawaya, Lego Sculptor


Nathan Sawaya’s midtown Manhattan office-studio doesn't resemble a workplace so much as a playroom, surrounded as it is by dozens of hulking boxes each containing millions of Lego blocks. Known to some as the “Lego Man,” Sawaya has made his name as an artist who makes imaginative, compelling, and sometimes disturbing sculptures out of the ubiquitous child’s toy. It began six years ago when he tired of his life as a corporate lawyer and abandoned it to pursue his passion: “I left the contracts on my desk,” he says, “and replaced them with Lego bricks.” Perched on his shelves and standing on his floor are his creations, which can take months to build (and for which his annual tiny-brick budget is in the six figures): a man in torment tearing his face off; an oversize fairy-tale book with a castle rising out of it; a rack of giant crayons; and a life-size Stephen Colbert. Recently he’s been enjoying the success of his first solo gallery exhibit at New York's Agora gallery, which has been attracting curious parents with their children as well as gallerygoers who want to see something different. Sawaya took Vulture on a tour of his office and gallery show and explained his colorful and often surprisingly moving creations.