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Meet the Ghanaian Canadian Lego sculptor building a Black universe

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Nimako was commissioned to create the piece for Nuit Blanche Toronto art festival in 2018 and says he wanted to create something that "spoke to the attractiveness and bold spirit of Black people and, in particular, young Black people." The piece is currently being exhibited in South Korea.

For 42-year-old Ghanaian Canadian artist Ekow Nimako, Lego is more than just a kids’ toy. A trickster deity in the form of a spider, a flower girl holding a giant bee and a Ghanaian kingdom in the year 3020 are all sculptures that he has built using only black Legos.

“I’m making art,” said Nimako. “This is fine art. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a toy, it’s not part of the Lego fandom, it’s not goofy. It doesn’t fall into a lot of categories that Lego creations fall into.”

He started making Lego sculptures in 2012 and his career took off two years later when he received a grant to exhibit his work in Canada during Black History Month. “I started realizing that not only did I enjoy making art with Lego, but it was important that I made Black art very specifically,” he said.

Nimako uses black Lego bricks specifically for three main reasons. The first is technical; black is one of the most common Lego colors, so there are many different pieces available for him to use.

The second is that he simply likes the color. “I think there’s something that is so sophisticated, something that is just expansive about black, and then there’s also something that is dark and sometimes foreboding or haunting about black. It has so much spectrum to it,” he explained.

The sculpture was initially the size of a six-year-old girl but as his technique developed and more Lego pieces were released, he aged her and enhanced her aesthetic. She is now the size of an average 10-year-old.

Read more....Amarachi Orie, CNN

Updated 11:25 AM EDT, Fri July 14, 2023

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