Lego’s were a favorite toy of mine growing up: I even had Lego horses! Best part was you would rip off your Lego person legs and snap the torso onto the Lego horse’s indented back and off they would ride into the horizon, blissfully forgetting of the carnage it took to get there.
Lego-Artist Sean Kenney has created another wondrous Lego-world for kids to let their imaginations run wild as the Lego critters themselves: naturally it’s at the Philadelphia Zoo. By way of nearly 260,000 bricks, Kenney has created penguins, polar bears (shown: images treehugger.com) turtles and even mini Lego rainforests in various stages of destruction and regrowth. This certainly isn’t Kenney’s first undertaking of this magnitude – he’s been commissioned to do recreations of Smart Cars (1:20 scale), massive 3D logos for Google and others, and even 8 Gordon’s Fisherman 3D torso’s that stood 2 feet tall and used over 6,ooo Lego elements – trust.
Kenney’s and the Zoo’s mission of this undertaking was to educate kids about the importance of preservation and conservation of the land and animals that are endangered, while also illustrating the opportunity for education without caging-in the actual animals themselves. Brilliant, inventive, educational and daring, Im 100% behind this project and hope it turns out to be a successful exhibit for the zoo. Despite many people’s general objections of zoo’s for either their geographical location v. animal inhabitants or their lack of space for the animals to freely move, I think this is a pretty awesome step in the right direction of raising awareness of the importance of keeping animals in their rightful place by means of conservation and preservation. Not to mention they are using art as a means to connect to kids AND send a message.
While many might not consider playing with Lego’s is an art form – I believe that if the work shows artistry and engages the viewer to consider the piece beyond face-value, then hot damn, it most definitely is art. Accessible, fun and engaging art at that.
Well played Philly Zoo…well played indeed.