Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beautiful LEGO by Boyle: Book review

Beautiful LEGOBeautiful LEGO by Michael Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful and inspiring book. The pictures are works of art. Some majestic in scale, some more at the level that you can imagine someone actually doing, if they had the artistic vision these creators did!

I like LEGO because of the ability to create. I remember as a young boy soon after a move using LEGO to build a model of my old house, with each floor, stairs, and every room represented. With my son, we have DUPLO's that have not gotten old. Some of the things we have made for him have been kept together for regular play for months at a time.

What this book and the artists that it interviews discusses is the use of LEGO as a medium for art. Where it makes the jump from a toy to art is when you creatively consider possibilities within the context of a constraint. And like the photographer who chooses to use black and white, the use of LEGO instead of clay is the fact that it comes in generally rectangular blocks. This book and the interviews recorded here deal with many ways of approaching this type of abstraction. From large scale recreations that rely on distance and scale to convert the blocks to a realistic looking objects, to abstractions with just enough detail so that the idea is recognizable and can fill in the rest.

My hope for my son is that LEGO gives him his first taste of creation, of having a picture in his mind and using building blocks, growing slowly towards that vision with all of the trial and error that involves, and ending with something he can call his own. And in this book, some of artists show that there start was much the same.

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book through the Oreilly Press Blogger Program

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