Thursday, June 10, 2010

Giant Heart Cross-Section

Name of Model: I <3 LEGO
Created by: Eric Harshbarger
Found at:
Details: Eric Harshbarger - the first and in some ways still the best LEGO artist to pursue commissioned work to make a living - has recently taken on his first sculpture in years. Although he has since moved on to other things, Eric Harshbarger was the trailblazer who proved that it was possible to make decent money creating LEGO sculptures without working for the LEGO company. Nowadays, the LEGO Certified Professional program has made it a bit easier to get started as a professional builder, but when Eric started, the only impetus to try building sculptures was low-priced tubs of brick (in the late 1990's, there were a few different types of tub that contained ~2000 pieces and cost less than $20. It's unlikely that LEGO will sell basic bricks at that price point again). If it weren't for the success of his work, it's doubtful that the more famous "brick artists" of today would have dared pursue building for a living at all. That's before we get into the advancements in mosaic-making that Eric Harshbarger spearheaded - at one point, the LEGO company was using a variation Eric's pixelego program to sell custom grey-scale mosaics online. While other advances in LEGO mosaic making and sculpture making have happened over the years (not to mention the introduction of new LEGO colors), there is yet to be another LEGO sculptor who has been quite as influential with his artwork. Enough of why I'm convinced that Eric is the most important sculptor - plenty of people build LEGO sculptures now, and this model is a nice model in it's own right even without the background (which I'm sure you knew by now anyway...right?)

This giant heart was made for BARD, a cardiological company that wanted a 4-foot-tall cross section of a human heart made out of LEGO. Although the design process was difficult and a certain amount of effort (read: money and access to parts) was required to talk Eric Harshbarger into doing another sculpture, the effort definitely paid off. More pictures and a few paragraphs on the experience are at the link above.

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