LEGO bricks aren't just for kids. A generation of artists and designers who spent their youth constructing small-scale cityscapes and replicas of the Death Star, have started using the infamous plastic building blocks to create everything from large-scale sculptures to functional furniture pieces. Case in point: David Tracy. The furniture and sculpture designer's small exhibit at the Forest Lawn Museum is a smart example of how LEGO bricks can be turned into functional everyday pieces.
Make no mistake, Tracy's colorful collection in no way reads as child's play. Instead, the lamps, tables and sculptures are pop art pretty examples of thinking outside the box. It's no surprise considering he apprenticed under world-renown LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, who constructs breathtaking, intricate sculptures, currently on display at Discovery Times Square Museum in New York City.
While Sawaya's exhibit focuses on large-scale sculptural pieces, Tracy's features works that could potentially be incorporated into everyday living. In fact, the living room set-up at the start of the exhibit is great inspiration for designers looking to shake up their aesthetic. From afar, the configuration reads like a mod motif with a bent for bright pops of color. Close-up you'll see the coffee table and lamps are made from LEGO bricks while both paint splattered chairs are constructed from cardboard. While a whole room full of pieces crafted from unexpected materials may feel a little out-there for most, adding one or two pieces (especially those that straddle the line between art and décor) can freshen up a motif.
Two pieces that would feel just as at home on a display pedestal as they would on a side table are the Torus and the Matchstick lamps. Both are sleek 1960s table lamps that wouldn't look out of place in Don Draper's living room. What makes them conversation pieces though, are the whopping number of bricks they are constructed from. Tracy used 17,500 LEGO bricks to make the base of the Torus and 26,000 for the Matchstick lamp.
To catch a glimpse of how Tracy makes each piece, be sure to watch the exhibit's accompanying video. It's quick view into his process, that's both eye-opening and mesmerizing.
For more information about 'A Million and One Pieces', visit www.forestlawn.com.
All images by Megan Mostyn-Brown