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Reuters/Paul Hackett
Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome brought to life by thousands of tiny plastic bricks.
PLASTIC PEOPLE

Photos: Inside the studio of the Michelangelo of Legos

Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

One of the more memorable moments from Sunday’s Oscars was the positively loony live-action performance of the song Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie (video), during which performers gave some of the actors in the audience a Lego award statuette.

Naturally, Oprah got one.

Those statuettes were built by Nathan Sawaya, the world’s preeminent Lego sculptor, the Michelangelo of tiny plastic bricks.

One of Sawaya’s life-sized human form sculptures typically needs 15,000-25,000 bricks, and can take him up to three weeks to complete. For comparison, Lego’s new Helicarrier set from The Avengers—one of the most complex products the company makes—is only 3,000 pieces.

Here’s a quick time-lapse video of him building the Oscar statuettes and another video of him building a replica of the lion statue outside the New York Public Library.

With the Oscars in his rearview, Sawaya’s next project will be life-sized sculptures of Batman, Superman, and other DC Comics heroes and villains. He will take them on a worldwide tour this fall.

While the Oscar statuettes were cool, they didn’t quite represent his incredible breadth of skill. Here are some of his other striking works:

Reuters/Pichi Chuang
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com

 

 

Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com

 

Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com
Nathan Sawaya, brickartist.com