Lego portrait art

Lego portrait art

An artist has immortalized some of history’s most famous people and places using THOUSANDS of Lego bricks.

Maths teacher Arthur Gugick, 54, who has been playing with Lego since he was seven years old, has built hundreds of scale miniatures of global landmarks and detailed portraits of pop-culture icons – using nothing but the little coloured bricks.

His work spans a wide variety of subjects, from portraits of John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix to model replicas of Big Ben and the White House. He has even recreated historical works of art by Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci.

Depending on the size of the project each model contains 5,000 to 20,000 pieces. Mr Gugick owns more than a million pieces in total, all sorted by size and colour.

To cut down costs Mr Gugick buys the majority of his bricks online, spending roughly £30 for 1,000 pieces.

He has never used a drop of glue to hold a piece together and carefully avoids using shop-bought models.

He said: “I use a lot of mathematics when building the architectural landmarks. For the Roman Coliseum I needed calculus.

“For the Taj Mahal I actually had to write my own computer software to help me make the dome.”

On average it takes Mr Gugick two to three months to complete a project, and for a while he struggled to balance his hobby with his career and spending time with his two sons, Benjamin, 17, and Jason, 14.

Mr Gugick said: “When they were younger they were never allowed to help me. Something had to give in terms of sharing time with them and my hobby.

“In the end I decided to stop watching television. I’ve missed sporting events and I don’t know who won the last series of the X Factor. The time I spent watching television now belongs to my Lego building and my family.”

Mr Gugick is part of a growing community known as the AFOLs, which stands for Adult Fans Of Lego.

Mr Gugick began building more complex models and mosaics about 15 years ago and has since noticed a surge in the products popularity with adults.

Mr Gugick said: “In the last 10 years the number of adults who claim to enjoy Lego has increased tenfold.

“There are Lego conventions. When I started there were only two conventions in the United States, now there’s probably 200 to 300 conventions worldwide. It’s almost too many.

“There’s even a Lego group in Britain called the Brickish.”

Despite the increasing number of AFOLs, Mr Gugick has a distinct advantage over his fellow artists thanks to his day job as a maths teacher at Beachwood High School, Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr Gugick also acknowledged the impact of the 2014 film, “The Lego Movie”, which topped box offices worldwide.

Mr Gugick said: “The Lego movie has absolutely helped adults to rediscover Lego because most of the audience were parents being dragged to it by their kids.”

Mr Gugicks work can be found in art galleries across the United States and Europe and a mosaic depicting Darth Vader from Star Wars can be found in the London branch of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

To see more of Mr Gugick’s work visit: www.gugick.com.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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