Bricking it: is Lego art?
Source:The Guardian Date: 2014-09-24 Size:
Nathan Sawaya’s Lego statues are interesting, but the people calling them art are missing the point. Lego doesn’t need to be art...

It’s cool, but it’s not art … The Art of the Brick.

Can you make art from Lego? There seems to be widespread media agreement that you can. Nathan Sawaya has an exhibition of ambitious Lego models at Old Truman Brewery in London. Reports uncritically call it “art”, made by an “artist”. Is that so?

Certainly these Lego statues aspire to the kinds of existential anguish you might see in serious art. There’s a figure pulling open its own chest – to reveal bricks pouring out from within – and another holding up a Lego mask as if meditating on the enigma of identity.

Serious stuff! In fact, some of the sculptor Antony Gormley’s work also looks like Lego – his giant figure squatting on a London hotel resembles a superscale Lego man. So maybe Lego modelling and contemporary art really are coming together.

Personally I don’t buy it. I do, on the other hand, buy a lot of Lego. Indeed a couple of weeks ago I was at Legoland Windsor. The rides are great, but so is the zone of the park called Miniland. Here are miniature recreations of the countries of Europe, from Dutch canal houses toBelgian bars and the Gherkin. There are even Easter Island statuesmade of Lego.

Cool stuff – but would you call it “art”? I don’t think that idea even occurs to Legoland’s crowds. Why should it? Lego is Lego. It is enormous fun. What’s the point of encumbering this joyous stuff with that heavy word “art”?

The real magic of Lego – as the brilliant Lego Movie shows – is created by the children who play with it. It is simply a great toy. Legoland celebrates it as such, with rides and activities aimed primarily at children up to 12 and their attendant grownups.

When your child makes something out of Lego, would it be sane to insist it was a work of art that belonged in the Tate? What kind of bizarre attitude to play would that be?

Lego is not art. It does not need to be art. Being awesome is surely enough.

[Editor] 刘建兰

    Artintern