Nathan Sawaya

NEW YORK, NY

Nathan Sawaya
ARTIST STATEMENT

When I was a lawyer I quickly came to realize I was more comfortable sitting on the floor creating sculptures than I was sitting in a boardroom negotiating contracts. My personal search for overall happiness paved the way to becoming a fulltime working artist. However, it can’t be said that my experience as a lawyer has not influenced my work as an artist; in fact, some might say it has defined me.


Creating art is my passion. Many of my works center on the phenomena of how everyday life, people and raw emotion are intertwined. Often my art is a reenactment of my personal feelings. I am inspired by my own experiences, emotions and the journeys I am taking.


The primary medium for my work is LEGO® plastic bricks. I use this as a medium because I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. Everyone can relate to it since it is a toy that many children have at home. I want to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before. I also appreciate the cleanliness of the medium. The right angles. The distinct lines. As so often in life, it is a matter of perspective. Up close, the shape of the brick is distinctive. But from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines change to curves. It takes weeks to complete a life size human form. The long hours of creating a new piece bring me immense satisfaction. When I am working on a project I enjoy, I completely submerge myself into the project, going into a trance-like state.


On and off, I intentionally intermix subject matter that is steeped in heavy sentiment with the lighthearted and whimsical. The purpose of this is two-fold. I realize families and children are drawn to my art because of the unique medium in which it was created and I welcome that. But it is also a necessary break for me to create whimsy in addition to the construction of the complex human forms. I want to provide a break for the viewer’s eye, as well as a respite for my brain.


Currently, my favorite subject is the human form. I use the male human form to represent the everyman, society, you and me. A lot of my work suggests a figure in transition. It represents the metamorphoses I am experiencing in my own life. My pieces grow out of my fears and accomplishments, as a lawyer and as an artist, as a boy and as a man. The names I give my pieces are generally unsophisticated in nature by design. I purposefully use simple titles to avoid influencing the viewer’s own interpretation of the work. This stems from both my desire for the audience to have a role in the interpretation and my insecurity of defining that role for them.


The fundamental purpose to my art is to captivate people for as long as I can keep their attention. I strive to create artwork that is interesting and that is unlike anything they have seen before.


90 Lexington Ave
Penthouse B
New York, NY 10016