Art of the Brick is currently on display at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) until May 1. With only one month left until the exhibition closes, I thought now was better than never to write a quick review. I also feel as though I need to say straight out that my allegiances are, and always will be, with the Marvel Universe. I am currently revolving my sense of time around when Captain America Civil: War is released (oh that essay is due three days post-Captain). Anyway, if you are the same as me and prefer Marvel to DC do not let that dictate whether or not you visit. Some of the work you will see inside is unbelievable.
The exhibition starts with a short film. I quite like this idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it allows for casual crowd management. Secondly, it means that you are exposed to some context before delving in to what’s on display. The Art of the Brick film is short, around 2-3 minutes. It shows the behind-the-scenes work of Lego artist Nathan Sawaya, the creator of all Lego pieces inside the exhibition. In the entrance space you are also able to see one of his most famous pieces – the yellow man ripping open his chest.
After the film you exit into a room similar to that of the entrance. Again, you come face to face with the yellow Lego man except this time he has transformed into the Joker. It was a great way to introduce the exhibition – visually transporting visitors into the world of DC Comics.
It is quite a large exhibition inside with ten rooms filled to the brim with superhero stories. The rooms are thematically organized. For example, in one there are heroes and in another, the villains. There are also rooms dedicated to one superhero. I loved the Batman rooms that were curated to look like Gotham City.
In terms of layout, the entire exhibition is quite dark with spotlights highlighting the specific pieces. Each piece is displayed open-air with no protective glass. Essentially this means I had a small heart attack each time a child was running directly into the path of one. On the other hand, having things open-air means you can really see the intricacy of the structures and appreciate how much time and effort went into their creation.
The pieces range from quite small to absolutely massive. No spoilers here but the finale of the exhibition is definitely worth seeing. After exiting the rooms there is a small gift shop and an area for kids to play with Lego. It was great seeing so many children playing with the Lego pieces and trying to build their own creations.
If I had to describe the exhibition in one word it would probably be fun. I didn’t worry about reading the exhibition labels or writing down any information. I simply walked around and admired the pieces for their artistic value and for their ability to show the beauty of creativity.