The Art of the Brick® Debuts at Myrtle Beach Art Museum

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum will host The Art of the Brick®, an exhibition featuring large-scale sculptures created out of iconic LEGO® bricks by New York-­based artist Nathan Sawaya. The event begins Saturday, June 11, 2016,
The Art of the Brick is one of the largest and most popular art exhibits touring the globe. CNN hailed The Art of the Brick as one of the top twelve "must-­see exhibitions in the world."
"This year alone, we've visited Australia, South Africa and Taiwan," said Sawaya. "We are thrilled to be bringing this collection to Myrtle Beach, SC."
Like most young kids, Sawaya started playing with LEGO at a young age. But unlike most kids, Sawaya never stopped building, creating and exploring his own imagination. The result has solidified his place in pop culture history and he is making an indelible mark on the art world as well. The award-­winning artist has catapulted the iconic LEGO brick into an art medium all its own, transforming this construction toy into awe-inspiring and thought provoking sculptures.
The centerpiece of Sawaya's collection of sculptures, as well as arguably his most famous piece of artwork, is entitled Yellow, a LEGO torso of a man ripping open his chest while yellow plastic bricks cascade out of the open chest cavity. Sawaya has made a name for himself by creating out of LEGO exacting replicas of the human form in various states of emotion, including anger, love, depression and joy. Concurrently on display at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum and for the run of the exhibition will be Sawaya's unique multi-­media collaboration with award-­winning Australian photographer Dean West, entitled In Pieces. The two artists spent years traveling and working together to blend their crafts resulting in the In Pieces collection of visually stunning hyper-realistic images that are exhibited with corresponding and complimentary three-dimensional LEGO sculptures.
"I use LEGO bricks as my medium because I enjoy seeing people's reactions to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. Everyone can relate to it since it is a toy that many children have at home. I want to elevate this simple plaything to a place that it has never been before. I want to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before. I also appreciate the cleanliness of the medium. The right angles.  The distinct lines. As so often in life, it is a matter of perspective. Up close, the shape of the brick is distinctive. But from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines change to curves," Sawaya said.
The Art of the Brick will be on view at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC from Saturday, June 11 through Saturday, September 10, 2016.  The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. Admission is free; however donations are suggested.  Please check the website MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org for extended summer hours.
Yellow by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of brickartist.com

Yellow by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of brickartist.com

About Nathan Sawaya
Nathan Sawaya is an acclaimed New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring artwork out of a toy. His art focuses on large-scale sculptures using only LEGO® bricks. Sawaya was the first artist to ever take LEGO® into the art world and his touring exhibition - The Art Of The Brick® - has entertained and inspired millions of art lovers and enthusiasts from Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, China and around the world. CNN heralded, "The Art Of The Brick® is one of the top 12 must-see exhibits in the world!" Originally from Oregon, Sawaya's childhood dreams were always fun and creative. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and of course also played with LEGO®. His days were filled with imagination. When it came time for college, Sawaya moved to New York City, attended NYU and became a lawyer. But after years of million dollar mergers and corporate acquisitions on Park Avenue, Sawaya realized he would rather be sitting on the floor creating art than sitting in a board room negotiating contracts. He walked away from the law and took an artistic risk on LEGO®. Now Sawaya is an author, speaker and one of the most popular, award-winning contemporary artists of our time. For more information about Nathan Sawaya and his artwork, visit www.brickartist.com.
Untitled by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of brickartist.com

Untitled by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of brickartist.com

About Dean West
Dean West is an acclaimed and award winning photographer who specializes in highly conceptual and thought provoking contemporary portraiture.  His body of work has been featured in top photography magazines and art galleries around the world. Born in Australia and currently living in Toronto, Dean has also been named "one of the world's best emerging photographers" by After Capture Magazine and included in Saatchi & Saatchi's collection of the world's top 100 emerging photographers. See more of his work at www.deanwest.com.

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