LEGO bricks are an accepted artistic medium. Like oil paint, stone, clay, or wood, LEGO bricks are used by fine artists for self-expression and to comment upon our human experience visually.
Relatively new to the fine art world is the idea that a child’s plastic building block is also an artistic medium worthy of display in the world’s most prestigious art galleries. You may be surprised to learn that the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio has a LEGO exhibit display celebrating its 10th year in 2023.
The following professional artists, hobby artists, and master model builders are “physically” building the way for future LEGO artists, and we’re so grateful!
Awesome LEGO Artists
- Reza Aliabadi (rzlbd)
- Mariann Asanuma
- John Bucy
- Mike Doyle
- Graeme Dymond
- Warren Elsmore
- Kate Hunter
- Gregory Jonason
- Sean Kenney
- Maurizio Lampis
- Kanna Nakayama
- Aaron Newman
- Ekow Nimako
- Jeff Sanders
- Nathan Sawaya
- Jan van Schaik
- Chris Thomas
- Craig Ward
- Ai Weiwei
Reza Aliabadi (rzlbd)
Aliabadi is a Toronto-based architect. His LEGO journey starts when he is four years old, living in Tehran, Iran, and his “LEGO addiction” continues as an adult, now professionally. Aliabadi’s signature or sole mark is rzlbd, and his studio is Atelier RZLBD.
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Ongoing themes of his art include investigating serial works. Recent work brings the LEGO brick into this repetitive exploration. 100 Abject Towers is marked by its use of yellow and gray 2×4 LEGO bricks shown as a collection of 100 miniature towers. Explore all work (including non-LEGO medium projects) by visiting http://www.rzlbd.com and scrolling to the bottom to choose from installations, paintings, drawings, and photographs.
Asanuma’s claim to fame is that she is the world’s first female freelance LEGO artist. Her company, Model Building Secrets, has been providing LEGO model building services for almost 15 years. She started her professional LEGO career in 2003, working at LEGOLAND® California as the first female American Master Model Builder. She’s written books about LEGO building and created commissioned works for large corporations such as Google.
In 2022, Bucy, a hobby artist, brought a solo art show titled “The LEGO Show,” featuring over 30 pop art mosaics and architectural sculptures with LEGO brick as the medium. This is the first time LEGO has been displayed in an exhibition at the Pump House Center for the Arts in Ohio. Bucy started modeling as an adult in 1999, and since then, he has spent his free time making LEGO brick fine art and commissions.
Doyle is a graphic designer, internationally acclaimed Lego artist, and writer of three LEGO books. He describes his work as “fusing the organic free forms of reality with the hard mechanical system of LEGO.”
Dymond is one of Canada’s only LEGO-certified master model builders. Known by his company name, Dymond Bricks, Dymond is a LEGO® Certified Professional, brick artist, event facilitator, master builder, and corporate trainer. In 2022, his 25,000 LEGO brick Amazon commission of The Posts is displayed as public art in Vancouver.
Elsmore is a professional LEGO artist based out of Edinburgh, UK. His company “specializes in creating world-class exhibitions and bespoke commissions out of LEGO® bricks.” In 2022, his current gallery exhibition is called Brick Wonders and is on display at the Novium Museum, UK. The exhibit features over 500,000 bricks highlighting wonders old and new, including The Great Barrier Reef.
Kate Hunter, also known as The Brick Huntress, is a US-based LEGO artist who holds a BA in Art History, Minor in Fine Arts, and Masters in Counseling Psychology. Kate found bricks as her artistic medium when in 2018, she visited Nathan Sawaya’s Art of the Brick exhibition. Inspired, she returned home and built her first mosaic, “Girl.” She’s a mom who also shares her LEGO passion with her children. She is best known for her mosaics, some original and some recreations of her favorite 1960s Pop Art.
According to her interview in Talk Paper Scissors, Kate’s goal “is to show young girls and women that they can do whatever they’re passionate about; don’t settle, keep growing as an artist and as a person.”
Gregory Jonason is a US-based brick artist focusing on LEGO mosaics and sculptures. His company is known as Bricks in a Snap.
Celebrating that LEGO is now seen as a fine art medium, in 2022, the Houston, Texas Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts put together a LEGO exhibition; Jonason is part of this exhibition. Jonason works at the University of Houston and is an artist in his free time.
New York-based sculptor Kenney is best known for his larger-than-life nature sculptures built from LEGO bricks. Since 2012, his sculptures have toured the world and have delighted viewers at locations such as gardens, arboretums, zoos, and museums. Kenney’s award-winning work includes exhibits, portraiture, children’s books, and commissioned artwork.
In 2022, after the mass shooting in a Uvalde, Texas elementary school, Kenney commemorated each child with a LEGO portrait. He is quoted in Kens5 News, “The irony there is children should be playing with toys and not hiding under desks,” said Kenney. “In these portraits, I intentionally left many pieces out so they’re not finished because these kids didn’t get to finish their lives.”
Lampis is a LEGO builder who founded the KaralisBrick Cultural Association and Brick Museum in Sardinia, Italy (a northern Italian island.) Works of LEGO Art include medieval castles and monuments of Sardinia, including the Basilica di Bonaria in Cagliari.
Nakayama is Asia’s first female Lego master model builder. Her workshop is at the Legoland Discovery Center in Osaka. Her love of LEGO bricks started as a child, and in kindergarten, she wrote that she wanted to work with Legos when she grew up.
Brick designer and full-time brick artist Aaron Newman was a contestant on the first season of LEGO Masters in the US.
Nimako is a Toronto-based Canadian artist known for surrealistic LEGO art. With formal fine arts training, Nimaka is a professional LEGO sculptor who intentionally weaves a positive black narrative into his body of work. Notably, the ‘Building Black’ series uses black LEGO pieces and draws inspiration from West African culture; AMORPHIA includes elements of West African mask-making.
Nimako also published a book, “Beasts from Bricks,” that feature colorful build instructions for animals from around the world. This book is included in our Best LEGO Gift Ideas.
In an interview with CNN, Nimako is quoted as saying, “I’m making art. This is fine art. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a toy, it’s not part of the Lego fandom, it’s not goofy. It doesn’t fall into a lot of categories that Lego creations fall into.”
Chris Thomas is a Canadian multimedia artist who, during the pandemic, turned to LEGO bricks as his medium of choice. He built Fredericton from LEGO bricks, calling the show “Smalltown Lego Exhibit.” His LEGO sculptures differ slightly from other artists’ work because he ages the buildings. He adds labels and uses paints and markers, and other materials to create scenes that feel like the spaces and buildings he is recreating.
Sanders is a LEGO geometric artist. Known as Brick Bending, his LEGO sculptures have been viewed more than 100 million times across online platforms in every corner of the world. Jeff describes his work as sitting “at the nexus of art, engineering, mathematics, ancient traditions, and popular culture–exploring the patterns inherent in LEGO® bricks, and pushing the limits of what can be created with the ubiquitous construction toy.”
Sawaya is an international-touring contemporary artist building large-scale LEGO brick sculptures. Formally trained and practicing as a corporate lawyer, Sawaya left law and forged his path as a fine artist. Sawaya is the first fine artist to use LEGO bricks (a toy) as a fine art medium and subsequently brought a new aesthetic that merges Pop Art and Surrealism into the modern art gallery space. Check The Art of the Brick website’s schedule for upcoming exhibitions.
In 2022, Sawaya’s outdoor art installation of ‘Hugman’ LEGO brick sculptures are on tour.
Jan van Schaik
Melbourne architect turns old LEGO bricks into new art in his modern Lost Tablets exhibit.
Ward is a British-born designer, creative director, and author experimenting with brick-built typography in a project called BrikFont.
In 2023, Weiwei exhibited a 50-ft wide recreation mural of Claude Monet’s Waterlillies made from 650,000 Lego bricks in 22 colors. As a Chinese contemporary artist, his work often portrays political dissent with common objects and found “ready-made” objects. Weiwei has used Lego bricks in his artistic practice since 2014.
Are there more Famous LEGO artists?
Please comment below or send us a note to add more LEGO artists to our growing list of Best LEGO Artists.
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