Nathan tells BuzzFeed: “Tom Friedman’s art was a huge inspiration for me when I was starting out. He reinterprets everyday household items - such as toothpicks, plastic cups and chewing gum - to construct interesting, engaging art. I use Lego toy bricks to make art, which is pretty unconventional as well. Also, I love constructing human forms in my works so I am inspired by Antony Gormley.”
He says: “I’m hoping to be the artist who inspires others now. I’m proud that millions of people around the world have seen The Art of the Brick touring Lego art exhibitions. My goal is to show kids that art is everywhere and can be made out of anything. Making art makes people happy - art is not optional, it is necessary.”
When asked why he started using Lego, he says: “When I first started creating art out of Lego, it was unheard of. No one else had taken this toy into art museums and galleries. So at first I was drawn to the challenge. I had sculpted with other media over the years, and one day I just pulled out my old Lego bricks and build a giant replica of my own face.”
“It got a great reaction and I enjoyed making it, so I create more sculptures. I really enjoy seeing people’s reactions to my art for the first time. Everyone has snapped a few Lego bricks together, so there is this familiarity that permits them to relate to my art on a different level.”
“Lego bricks are a great medium for creating art because there are no limits. I believe that there is nothing I can’t build out of Lego. I had Lego bricks growing up. When I was about ten years old, I asked my parents if I could get a pet dog, and when they did not get one for me, I created a life-size dog for myself out of Lego bricks. It was an early turning point in my art career.”
“As an artist, I wanted to elevate this simple childhood toy to a place it has never been before: into the fine art galleries and museums. I appreciate the cleanliness of the Lego brick. The right angles. The distinct lines. As so often in life, it is a matter of perspective. Up close, the shape of the brick is distinctive. But from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines change to curves. That is what drew me to the brick.”
“I like using the bricks as a medium because I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. Everyone can relate to it since it is a toy that many children have at home. But it is more than that. My favorite thing about using Lego bricks is seeing someone be inspired by my artwork to go and pick up a few bricks and start creating on their own.”
Nathan gave up a career in law to become a full-time artist. He says: “I worked with some great people at the law firm, but in the end, I was not satisfied creatively. At the end of a long day at the law firm, I would come home and need to find my creative outlet. Sometimes I would paint, sometimes I would write and sometimes I would sculpt.”
“I knew I wanted to pursue my creative outlets, but it was tough to make that leap. I had created a website, brickartist.com, to showcase my artwork in a virtual gallery. When my site crashed one day from too many hits, I realized it was time to leave the law firm and go play with bricks full time.”
Nathan’s exhibition will be returning to Discovery Times Square on February 14th.
Nathan has started a foundation, ArtRevolution.org, which is currently raising funds to put art supplies in kids’ hands by selling limited edition t-shirts.