Legos Still Make Me Smile
My childhood was built on a Lego foundation. I spent hours playing with Legos, not assembling the proscribed object instructed by the manufacturers, but creating my own vehicles and fortresses. I love creating new things with simple tools. I was naturally very amused by Jean-Charles de Castelbejac's recent use of Legos as accessories. That kind of playful gesture might be criticized as novelty or disposable fashion but there's no arguing with comedy and good-spirited humor.
My friend David and I were discussing David Bowie's Diamond Dogs and we both agreed that its a great album but David had originally gotten the impression that it wasn't worth checking out because of some reviews he had read years ago. The critic had accused Bowie of recapitulating his Ziggy Stardust character. When David told me this I replied simplistically: ok...so are the songs good are not? And we both agreed that they were. Criticism generally has this effect. Once you see that something is in fact good (makes you laugh, makes you smile) abstract judgements become completely useless. As David Bordwell pointed out there are too many stubborn stylists out there perpetrating reviews as serious criticism.
Coming to these pieces by Nathan Sawaya (via Brandy Shaloo) I was reminded of how self-serious some people are about art and I've become very attracted to the less lofty language of the Bahaus and Russian avant-garde of the WW2 era. There seems to be an absolute absence of self-seriousness in creating these gothic and surrealist forms out of vibrant colorful children's blocks.
Saway's work is currently touring N. American museums.