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Lego Artist Nathan Sawaya Rebuilds DC Superheroes Brick By Brick

At San Diego ComicCon, renowned Lego artist Nathan Sawaya offers a sneak peak at his upcoming new exhibit of DC Entertainment superheroes and villains.

It’s been over a year and a million Lego bricks in the making.

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In November, the 100 sculptures that comprise Nathan Sawaya’s next exhibition, Art of the Brick: DC Comics, will debut at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, before continuing on a global tour.

But attendees at San Diego Comic-Con will get a sneak peak at some of the pieces during an early evening panel today, DC Comics Meets Lego Art which will also feature DC Entertainment co-publisher and artist Jim Lee. He’ll also have a Saturday panel, Making the Lego Fan Scene.

Nathan Sawaya (the one on the right)

“I was looking to explore the theme of good and evil, so what better inspiration than the comics?” says Sawaya. “I’d developed a relationship with DC and Warner Bros when I donated a sculpture of Catwoman to the We Can Be Heroes campaign a few years ago. That’s what started it. I began having conversations about putting my artistic spin on the supervillains and superheroes of DC.”

Sawaya—whose Lego Oscars made a splash at this year’s Academy Awards— is also featured in A Lego Brickumentary covering the Lego phenomenon. The film—from Oscar winning director Daniel Junge and Oscar-nominated director Kief Davidson, and distributed by The Weinstein Company—will be released July 31 in theaters, iTunes, and On Demand.

“These characters are so iconic, the big challenge was interpreting them in a new way that was exciting,” says Sawaya. “Another was creating flowing capes out of plastic blocks, and getting them to look like fabrics.”

Meanwhile, Sawaya’s first exhibit, Art of the Brick, has been touring the world and is currently at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

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“The Art of the Brick’s current exhibition is about encouraging people to find the artist within,” says Sawaya. “The new exhibition is about finding the hero within, and what it takes to build a hero.”

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.

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