Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everyone is a LEGO art critic

With Plasticgod (Los Angeles artist Doug Murphy) unveiling his latest artwork that anthropormizes minifig heads into celebrities, the question of whether LEGO can be art is back on the table for discussion.

It's something I've been wondering since attending a discussion led by AFOL Roy Cook at Brickworld concerning the artistic properties of LEGO bricks. He asked a single provocative question that sparked an hour of conversation that was only ended because the room was needed for the next presentation.

Can you consider something art when it can be recreated exactly? Every LEGO sculpture and mosaic can be remade down to the last piece (assuming someone has the requisite skill). Not only are the bricks mass-produced, but does that very fact render it impossible to create something unique?

There is no doubt that LEGO bricks have the power to evoke strong visceral responses from an audience for a given creation. People bring their associations from childhood and the idea that LEGO elements have been transformed resonates on a number of levels. The bricks even sit inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. So, if bricks are art or at least accomplishments of design- what about the structures made from those pieces?

Photo by Kisokiso.

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