This summer, some interesting characters have been making themselves at home in downtown Houston. These colorful creations are six LEGO brick sculptures known as Park People. Since July 23, they’ve been hanging out at Allen Center at The Acre (500 Dallas St.) but on August 13, they’ll head to Houston Center (1200 McKinney St.), where they’ll be on display through August 24.
The monochromatic figures are the work of artist Nathan Sawaya, 45, who has been creating art with LEGO bricks for nearly 15 years. The former attorney worked with the LEGO company for less than six months — before opening his own New York City art studio in 2004 and working full-time as a LEGO artist. (He has another studio in Los Angeles.) Since then, he has done collections and installations that have been seen in museums, galleries, libraries, and other public venues around the world.
As for Park People, these LEGO folk have appeared on park benches in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, and even President Obama’s South by South Lawn festival in 2016.
While this installation is mostly about exploring the artistic potential of the human form, the artist himself has stated that interaction with these works of art are encouraged. “These figures are great secret-keepers,” Sawaya told Art and Cake last year. “When the installation first debuted [in 2016] at the White House, even President Obama sat and had a conversation with one of the figures. The reaction in Los Angeles has been equally fantastic, with an overwhelming number of people taking time to sit and interact with the sculptures.”
For more information on Sawaya and his artwork, visit his official site.