Lego urban repair: This artist is colouring the world
The German artist Jan Vormann is saying no to the greyscale and decaying buildings and structures of cities around the world. How? By adding a touch of colour with the help of the much loved Lego bricks.
From London to America, where there was once crumbling walls, cracks in houses and holes in the pavement, there is now playful joy and childish charm. “No one likes to live in murky, grey cities,” he told the Berliner Kurier newspaper . “Not only children dream of a more colourful world.”
COLOUR AGAINST WAR
Dispatchwork is the latest project from the 33-year-old sculptor and has seen him travel around the world for six years. It all started at an art fair in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, and, to date, Vormann has visited nearly 40 cities across the globe, brightening people’s days with his colourful version of Polyfilla.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Vormann says his favourite work was done in Berlin: “I filled in the holes still left by guns and shrapnel from the Second World War. That drew people’s attention to the Lego and hopefully they would ask themselves why the Lego was there.”
It is one of many places the artist has chosen for the project because of their historical background or a political meaning. “One idea is to juxtapose the dark history of the architecture with colourful modern elements,” he told NBC News.
The artist can use as much as 20 pounds of Lego bricks on a single project, and he has been working with volunteers ranging in age from three to 40-years-old. It has become a global wonder, and is no longer a solo mission.
During his interview with NBC News, he said, “Dozens of organisations, foundations and strangers have already sent me photos of their repairs, which now have become a wider part of the art installation.”
The repairs by him and participators can be viewed on the website Dispatchwork.info where there is an interactive map showing the cities and accompanying photos. The number of installations is now more than 70 and shows no signs of stalling, as the colourful message of Lego is one we can all relate to.
Many fans have also uploaded their works on Instagram using #dispatchwork
INTERACTION WITH BYSTANDERS
For Vormann, it is not only about an art project with a link to architecture, but also the interaction with bystanders. He says that people go crazy when he is completing an installation, and children gather around him.
He told NBC News that he and fellow artists were doing an installation in Israel when children in the Jaffa district swirled around them and kept asking when they could finally take the toys home with them.
Dispatchwork is not a plea for repairs, even if Vormann has come back to installations a few days later and found the colourful bricks gone and the object renovated. And he is clear in his goal: “I want to repair any broken wall around the world with Dispatchwork.”