Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ekow Nimako - Flower Girl

Ekow Nimako is a Canadian artist using LEGO as his medium. He has a current exhibition in Toronto called Building Black, where the black refers both to his cultural experience as the son of immigrants from Ghana and also the color palette for many of the creations. The signature piece of this exhibit is Flower Girl, which he says represents the lost innocence associated with the slave trade.

He wrote Flower Girl Requiem to accompany this piece, which you can find on his Flickr stream.

They Say Forever innocent,
Free from taint or decay world,
filled with basketball Pretty blooms
Plucked from the earth none too soon.

She love for all her hope and youth,
Her pretty gown, the purest truth
Her basketball and the whites Within,
The blooms of cotton, soft and grim.

The world can never seem so stark,
So bright, so safe, so cold and dark
As When gazed upon through childhood's eyes,
For All which my precious dare not oblige.

Alas, her Will not be strewn aisle,
For she who's ever loved is gone
The child of flowers, and picked Praised
Forever innocent, They Say.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nathalie Vin

London-based mosaic artist Nathalie Vin has used LEGO in a couple of recent creations - not in the way you might expect, stacking LEGO pieces together to create an image, but instead incorporating LEGO with pieces of ceramic, stained glass, gears, and other pieces to create an overall image. She describes Terra Incognita saying:
Life is 'terra incognita' and so is art - an ever-changing event emerging from endless possibilities. With this piece I created an imaginary world where the laws of nature were different from those from Earth but somehow similar in evolution. 'Terra Incognita' is an attempt to symbolise the origin of an early writing by creating a fragment suggesting both contemporary and ancient representations. Hopefully viewers find themselves in familiar and fantasy dimensions simultaneously. I used ceramic glazed tiles to represent a version of ancient writing and stained glass and lego's, computer parts and gold tiles to represent modernity and advanced technologies which other parallel civilizations might have mastered at one time.
BTW, if you're looking for the LEGO, look closely at the little white boxes that the gears are inside - those are white 1 by x tiles turned upside down. At first I didn't realize the gears were that small, so I didn't realize those pieces were LEGO.

She describes her Multiverse:
What was there when there was nothing? What triggered this burst of Cosmic egg, rippling and expanding wave after waves to create our Universe... our Multiverse? To illustrate this concept of " other dimensions" or "Multiverse theory", I chose to superimpose two distinct ideas; The origin of the 'Concept of Time' - starting with the central Point Zero, and 'the Now' - symbolised by our/a 'Computer Era' in the foreground. Although inspired by scientific orthodoxy/ theories, Multiverse is an imaginative realm representing the fusion of two separate dimensions in which the 3rd dimension - evolution - has been erased. I used smaltis, glow-in-the-dark and gold tiles to represent the expanding rich matter of the Big Bang; clockwork parts, lego's, polymer clay moulding and computer parts, were used to represent the Present.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Girl with a Pearl Earring

I've previously noted several LEGO versions of Vermeer's ~1665 Girl with a Pearl Earring. Arthur Gugick has recently built this rendition.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Elephants

Jin Kei built this LEGO rendition of one of Salvador Dali's Elephants. The 1948 surrealist painting is currently found in the DalĂ­ Theatre and Museum in Catalonia, Spain.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Book review: Big Unofficial LEGO Builder's Book

The Big Unofficial LEGO Builder's Book by Joachim klang and Oliver Albrecht, 2012, HEEL Verlag GmbH

Please note that I'm posting this same review across all my blogs, but I'm appending some blog-specific information at the end of each one.

Okay, this one is a year old, but I just got it from the library and figured I'd add to my series of reviews. Oliver Albrecht (aka *Olly*) and Joe Klang (aka -derjoe-) built The Big Unofficial LEGO Builder's Book, subtitled 'Build your own city'. As the name implies, this is all about building in the city theme. Really, though, it is mostly about vehicles, so a more accurate subtitle would have been something like 'Driving around the city'.

The book opens with a few pages of text, providing some definitions and acronyms that AFOLs use, urls to a few important community websites (of course it's always problematic which ones to choose), and a short tutorial on SNOT building. One thing really bothered me. On page 14 when they are discussing making balls, they write "A variety of solutions circulate in the LEGO forums around the world; here is ours:", and then they give exactly the instructions for the Lowell sphere. I'm not saying that there is ownership of LEGO building techniques, and you need to give credit when you build anything, since almost every technique has been done before. But don't specifically say "Here is my design", and then give someone else's design.

That quibble aside, the book quickly moves into it's main focus, directions to build city-themed MOCs, mostly cars and trucks. The first half of the book is devoted to microscale. There are 22 cars and trucks, all built at 2-wide, with 5-plate-high people. I like that they do wheels a few different ways, which lends some variety to your microscale world. They also show how you can take the same basic car design, and by varying up the colors and switching out a few parts you can get a lot of different vehicles. They also include directions for a couple of buildings, a tree, a helicopter and a plane. The designs are all well done. They are fairly simple, since micro cars are necessarily only a small number of parts, probably appropriate for intermediate builders. The instructions are very clear in LDRAW and in full color, and include parts lists. Interspersed with the directions, they have photographs of a large microscale city layout, incorporating all of the different designs in the book. The layout is great, and I would have loved to see even more of this.

In the last ~40% of the book they focus on minifig scale. A cab, a Ferrari, a convertable, a truck, and a helicopter are all built at a six-wide scale. Again, the instructions are done in LDRAW, full color, with parts lists. These models are more for intermediate to advanced builders, and the results are really good (especially the truck). There are a few photos of the completed models, but mostly just the vehicles on simple bases (there is one with a house) rather than set into a larger layout. While I liked the minifig scale vehicles, I really thought these should have been in a separate book, and left this book just at microscale.

I thought this book turned out really well. The models were great, and now I want to go build more micro city MOCs. I note that the same builders have been busy, with the previously noted Joe's Garage: Build your own LEGO Vehicles by Klang, and Build your own Galaxy along with Lutz Uhlmann and Tim Bischoff.

Blog-specific content - There is none.