The Art of the Brick is an astounding exhibition of LEGO art happening now in San Francisco, and artist Nathan Sawaya’s largest sculpture yet, titled Decisions, has made its world premiere here at the SF show. The gravity-defying work comprises a total of 112,306 bricks, and is absolutely spectacular in San Francisco’s elegant Pantheon-inspired venue. See it alongside 70 other fantastic LEGO sculptures by Sawaya, which include recreations of classic art, organic human forms, and countless others.
Tickets are still available to see The Art of the Brick in San Francisco! Check it out before the exhibition ends on September 5.
Decisions showcases a collection of sky blue, cloudy gray and ivory human forms suspended over a pit of vivid red outstretched hands. A dazzling red light shines up from below, illuminating the collection of bodies in flight against a stark black background. Some figures look down at the tangle of crimson, and some gaze upward to the vaulted ceilings. While the rest of the exhibition is presented in the downstairs galleries, Decisions is the only sculpture displayed upstairs in the atrium, making for a truly extraordinary finale piece.
Sawaya originally conceptualized Decisions at a previous exhibition in Seoul, Korea, but San Francisco’s venue ultimately inspired its current grandeur. The Union Savings Bank at 1 Grant Avenue is a massive city landmark dating back to 1910, with characteristic bronze doors, Ionic columns, and a distinguished concrete dome.
“When this venue came up where they had this beautiful dome above it, it just seemed like the right time,” Sawaya tells us. “Wanting to have these flying figures really soaring was critical, and you can’t do that in a lot of venues.”
At its core, the piece is meant to represent the duality of hope and despair. But Sawaya chooses not to elaborate too much on the piece’s significance, preferring instead to promote collaboration and new interpretations from the public. Visitors’ analyses have ranged from a simplistic representation of Heaven and Hell, to a protracted commentary on the vaccination debate.
“I want the viewer always to have a role in the interpretation, especially with a piece like this,” he says. “People tend to have various ideas of what they’re seeing, which is great, that’s the entire idea of art in general… it’s been interesting to listen to the folks of San Francisco and the Bay Area come up with their own interpretations.”
What’s your interpretation of Decisions? Bring a friend for some healthy debate at The Art of the Brick, ending soon in San Francisco.
In San Francisco’s exhibition, Decisions is the culmination of 70 other splendid works on display. One of the largest is a 20-foot T. rex skeleton made from over 80,000 bricks, a showstopper in itself. Other favorites include life-size replicas of famous art like Michelangelo’s David and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the famous sculpture Yellow, which once featured in a Lady Gaga music video.
Each creation is carefully aligned with Sawaya’s motto, “Art is not optional,” meaning that artistic expression must be a priority in schools, homes, and the world at large. By producing fine art with a material easily available around the globe, he bridges the gap for children and adults alike.