I remember watching, decades ago, a short film with Picasso. There was a glass wall that you could not see, and Picasso was standing behind it, dressed like a French Artist and holding painting equipment. He then proceeded to draw lines on the glass. Each line had a particular orientation and shape. He put just a couple of lines on the glass, and in so doing, created a great work of art. If I recall correctly, he made a few of them. Years later, visiting Picasso’s home in Paris, I saw a bicycle handlebar thad had been broken and welded roughly back together again. Two pieces of metal, each with a particular size and shape, made into a great work of art.

Just a few pieces make three different cars, with a fair amount of detail.

Just a few pieces make three different cars, with a fair amount of detail.

Anybody can do that, right? Draw a couple of lines and call it art? Stick a couple of pieces of metal together and call it art? Or like those modern artists, spill some paint on the floor, frame it, and call it art?

Well, yes. You can call it art. But it won’t be art. It will be drek.

Track not included in design.  A minimal brick interurban commuter system.

Track not included in design. A minimal brick interurban commuter system.

And, sadly, that is also what happens when the average person takes four or five pieces of LEGO and sticks them together. You get drek. Nothing. Nada.

But, if you are an artist, you may have a sense of form, color, shape, etc. and when you stick a few pieces of LEGO together, you might get a form that is arguably artistic. Many artists are quite capable of working in a media unfamiliar, in this case LEGO bricks, to produce something, maybe something quite nice. Try it. If you know any artists, give them a handful of LEGO bricks and see what they can do.

Instructions are as detailed as needed to get the job done, as per usual.

Instructions are as detailed as needed to get the job done, as per usual.

And, it turns out there is a subset of artists who are experts on LEGO — this is their medium — and who can take a handful of LEGO bricks and put them together, and get …. Tiny LEGO Wonders: Build 40 Surprisingly Realistic Mini-Models!.

Tiny LEGO Wonders: Build 40 Surprisingly Realistic Mini-Models! demonstrates 40 different minature models.

TinyLEGOWonders_coverThere are cars, planes, ships, trains, etc. There is a Space Shuttle, and France’s TGV train. There is even a cement mixer.

The models and designs are very generalizable, so if you have a reasonable collection of LEGO bricks, you can use that collection and this book to construct quite a few miniature models of your own, even if you don’t have the exact pieces.

The author is Mattia Zamboni, who has written other books on LEGO, and has been a “LEGO Ambassador” since 2015. His day job is to build robots at the University of Applied Science and Arts of Souther Switzerland.

Here is the table of contents of this fine book:

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Picasso: