Nighthawks: West said he took inspiration from iconic American artist Edward Hopper for is Lego compositions
By Daily Mail Reporter
Artist Dean West first started thinking about using Legos in his work back in 2009, when he had a big box of the brick toys sent to his home in Australia.
But West didn't even know where to begin, since he didn't play with the Danish building blocks growing up.
After researching the toys a bit more, West found someone who was more skilled in the art of Lego construction - New York City sculptor Nathan Sawaya.
Child's Play: In 2009, artist Dean West thought up the idea of using Legos in his next piece, but didn't know where to start since he never played much with the brick toys as a kid
On the road: West took sculptor Nathan Sawaya on a road trip across the American West, touring the states of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah for inspiration
Instead of making the Lego pieces himself, he thought he could integrate Sawaya's sculptures into a photo series.
Sawaya was skeptical of the project at first, but when West showed up at his New York apartment the two hit it off and decided to rent a Jeep and tour the American West looking for inspiration.
West himself loves collaborating with other artists.
'In all of my work, I try to work with the best team possible,' West told Slate. 'My job really is to communicate the idea to the team and ensure it is executed even better than I envisioned.'
The two artists toured California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah, taking stock of ordinary American life.
Team effort: West said he's accustomed to working in a team environment. He feels comfortable communicating his ideas to someone else and seeing them come out better than he expected
Brick by brick: Legos fit perfectly in the image since they are so similar to the pixels used in digital photographs
The finished result is a series of seven stylized photographs depicting every day life such as a woman walking her dog or a man holding an umbrella in the rain.
Hidden within the images are Lego sculptures created by Sawaya, added photo-shopped in after.
The static arrangements of the photo compositions bare a strong resemblance to iconic artist Edward Hopper's work and old American postcards.
They Lego sculptures aren't immediately noticeable since the pixelation of digital photography makes the constructions themselves seem like they are part of the image.
'They do have almost a pixelation effect,' Sawaya told Gotham Magazine. 'So when you blend them into the photographs, it's really a comment on modern technology.'
Memories: The finished series of seven images resemble pictures found in an old scrapbook
American dreams: The final images look very stylized, an aesthetic that West uses in a lot of his work
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