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The LEGO art of Josh Talbott

There are many ways to enjoy the LEGO hobby; of course you can build all kinds of creations with LEGO bricks, but how about using LEGO as a medium for fine-art? Below I will introduce you to the LEGO art of Josh Talbott. Josh mainly focuses on fine-art, murals and portraits, but sometimes our beloved LEGO minifigs also sneak on his canvas to communicate with us and convey their unique message. 😉

LEGO Art by Josh Talbott – “You Can’t Win, Darth”

Below Josh will introduce you to his world as an artist and a LEGO fan. This may inspire you to look at LEGO from another perspective and expand your view on how it can be used to express yourself:

The story of my life as an artist and LEGO-lover is a round about one; I have recently realized how much I have in fact returned to my roots. I am the oldest of eight children and due to the strains of managing so many kids my parents often dropped us off at my grandmother’s house. A quiet little basement apartment that opened out into her vegetable-garden. It was warm and cozy and there was always something cooking. We were free of the chores required of us at home. We were free to play. There were art-projects, collages, pencils and markers – and of course, a giant box of LEGO. The sound of them pouring onto the floor still resonates with me. These vacations to Grandmother’s house have greatly shaped my life…

LEGO Art by Josh Talbott – Surfer LEGO

It was no accident that I became an artist. My mother is a painter and doll-maker – among other things – and her father was a sign painter. My adventure into the world of art really began when I moved to New Orleans. I was chasing work as a scenic-painter for film when I met a couple of characters selling their paintings on the fence of an old cathedral on Royal Street. We were fast friends and then roommates and then inseparable. They inspired and effected great change in the way I saw myself and my paintings. We painted all the time and often where we were set up displaying our work we would paint and talk to the string of tourists as they happened by. It was a very good time…

LEGO Art by Josh Talbott – “So, What Are You Doing After This?”

I was painting one day – a painting of bugs as jazz musicians – and I needed something bright and inorganic to balance my composition. The peanut gallery was quiet and so after a bit of musing I had it; a LEGO! Bright and red in contrast to all the green in the painting. And then it hit me! The body of work that followed was LEGO figures in battle with ants and was greatly received. It seemed I had hit on something that really stirred people and brought them joy. It felt like a good idea, a bottomless well. And then things changed, as they often do…

Hurricane Katrina, and a string of other challenges changed my direction again. I bounced around, lost. My paintings were rather severe and heavy, in contrast to the bright eternal smiles of a LEGO head. I found Santa Fe and showed with a gallery there for a while and then I was in Los Angeles and showed paintings there. I lived in Los Angeles for a while. And then I discovered my current home…

LEGO Art by Josh Talbott – Ejected

It was dreamlike. Such beauty, quiet, and serenity. I planted my first vegetable-garden, and began cooking my grandmother’s recipes. At any moment now I have a casserole in the oven or the refrigerator. Those nostalgic smells were medicinal, and having a garden became hugely symbolic. It occurred to me that something funny was happening. Then I got a call from my friend Phil from New Orleans. He is now in Miami and wanted me to do some LEGO paintings for his gallery there. I was hesitant, but agreed. The response to the paintings has once again been great and I enjoy doing them more than ever…

I recently began going out, setting up and painting in public again, like we did in New Orleans. In talking to people about my work I realized something; I realized that I have rebuilt my grandmother’s house for myself as an adult. The smells of baking, the playing with LEGO and collages, painting, and that warm safe feeling of a home. I would say that in my life I have had two homes; the first was my grandmother’s house when I was a young one, and the one I am now so fortunate to have. And it seems LEGO have been an integral part of both…

LEGO Art by Josh Talbott – Banana Boat

You can see my recent LEGO paintings on my website. Limited edition prints are available. I also take commissions, so if you have something you would like painted (LEGO or otherwise) I would be happy to talk to you about it. Or if you just have an idea that you think would make a cool painting don’t hesitate to say. The LEGO paintings I am doing now playfully view the line between their world and ours. I like incorporating the real much more than making their environment a sterile one of their own. Please enjoy, and let me know what you think!

You can visit Josh at his website at JoshTalbott.com, and he also lists some of his LEGO art at his eBay store: Talbott Fine Art. And if you like LEGO art and using LEGO in creative ways, you may also want to check here:

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • legolotr June 15, 2012, 10:13 AM

    cool

  • weird

  • legolotr June 15, 2012, 11:41 AM

    Admin, I have an idea for a post on here. how do I get it to you?

  • nace10 June 15, 2012, 11:57 AM

    Cool!!! Those paintings are awsome!!! Intresting, he had paintings in Santa Fe!!!

  • admin June 15, 2012, 12:27 PM

    Just email your idea to me at admin@theBrickBlogger.com 😉

  • PV June 15, 2012, 1:20 PM

    This is a comment to Josh: Interesting mix of mediums. The lego figures are nicely done. There is something I’m missing though. I’m not sure what it is. I’m not an art critic, but perhaps I would say the contrast between the lego and the rest of the subject is not divided enough for me, therefore the contrast gets blurred. But perhaps that is the purpose.

    Again, I’m not an art expert. And of course different art appeals to different people. The fact that you are putting your heart into it and this is your truth is what’s important. Your realization about your grandma’s house and how you have recreated it later in your life is particularly touching and powerful.

    Good luck with sharing your work!

  • PV June 15, 2012, 1:23 PM

    I would say it would be more useful to the artist if you critique his work with more than just cool and weird. How does that benefit him or anyone?

  • legolotr June 15, 2012, 2:11 PM

    sorry

  • josh talbott June 15, 2012, 3:08 PM

    @ PV
    I get on my soapbox about people being experts in art.
    Art is the only thing in the world, that I know of, that when you know what you like, you ARE an expert. Therefore every opinion is valid. I believe art should be more accessible to people. So they don’t feel some critic, on high, has to qualify it for them.
    As far as the contrast do you mean in subject matter or the the way they are painted? Did you visit my website? Also worth mentioning. They do lose something as digitized images opposed to the hard copy of the painting.
    I like the idea of the figures participating in our world. Blurring that line between reality and make-believe. There are more elaborate examples of this on the way. This really is the tip of the ice-burg.

  • legolotr June 15, 2012, 10:34 PM

    Wait, Admin why did you ask for my email address when I signed on? (this site is free to be a member on right?)

  • admin June 16, 2012, 8:28 AM

    That is correct, anyone can comment, and no membership is required. Asking for an email address is to discourage spammers and keep our commmunity safer. It is also necessary if you are subscribing to comments on a tread, so the website knows where to send updates. It is not shared with anyone. Technically you can put a fake address in there, but then you can’t subscribe. 😉

  • legolotr June 16, 2012, 10:19 AM

    Subscribe for what?

  • legolotr June 16, 2012, 8:40 PM

    I guess that last comment gave away who didn’t give the right email address,I don’t have one.

  • legolotr June 16, 2012, 10:51 PM

    workin’ on one

  • legolotr June 16, 2012, 11:55 PM

    sent the one from someone else’s email,do not email them.It was the find your parts thing.Sorry it needs some help

  • admin June 17, 2012, 9:29 AM

    LOL! Yeah! How can you exist in today’s world without an email address. 😕

  • legolotr June 17, 2012, 10:05 AM

    Just like you exist without a TV

  • admin June 17, 2012, 10:39 AM

    Good point! However TV is for entertainment (i.e. not necessary), whereas an email address is for everything; subscribing to things, shopping for stuff (including LEGO), running a business, staying in touch with others, it is assential like a phone-number or business-card. At least me thinks. 😉

  • legolotr June 17, 2012, 12:01 PM

    wait, does not having tv include no dvd player? if not it is the same for me

  • admin June 17, 2012, 12:26 PM

    I watch videos on my computer. 😉

  • Pete June 17, 2012, 12:47 PM

    Great story! Nice reflections! Well done Lego art! Love the paradox of the first picture with the teddy! 😀

  • PV June 17, 2012, 12:51 PM

    Yes, thanks for sharing that! I agree that art is in the eye of the beholder. No need for anyone to explain. How big are these paintings? As you said, they likely loose some of their features though a computer screen.

  • legolotr June 17, 2012, 1:23 PM

    oh

  • josh talbott June 17, 2012, 1:51 PM

    these are 12″x16″ and 10″x30″
    I have more on the way that are larger and more elaborate.

  • estert June 17, 2012, 7:50 PM

    lol! love the one with the nurse! will check out your website! 😀

  • yodaman5556 August 8, 2012, 8:15 PM

    Man, for a moment I thought that those minifigures were real and that he took a photo of them. Great work!!

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