If you were to build a bison completely out of LEGO bricks, how many do you think it might take to finish the job?
It's not a trick question, though asking if the bison should be, well, bison-sized, or something more diminutive, seems worthwhile here.
So here's a starting number, though, for you: 45,143 LEGO bricks can, and have, gone into fashioning a furry bison, or at least furry-seeming. The noble animal, and several other beasties, from butterflies to foxes, are all part of "Nature Connects -- Art with LEGO Bricks Exhibit."
The show, which includes 27 animal figures created fully out of the iconic rectangles-and-more building blocks, opened at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verde Peninsula on Friday, Feb. 18.
New York artist Sean Kenney is behind the national tour, which will enjoy its only Southern California stop for much of the late winter and spring. Final date? Sunday, May 8.
A flower, a dragonfly, a hummingbird, and a couple of humans outside in the natural world -- one's operating a lawn mower -- are part of the whimsically but accurately rendered pieces.
Pieces that, in all, include almost 500,000 LEGO bricks, each picked up and carefully placed in the just-so spot. Another not-so-tricky question: How long does it take to assemble 27 awesome sculptures while using a few hundred thousand bricks? Mr. Kenney's process took seven months in all.
LEGO sculptures are always pretty amazing, especially those on a larger scale. But this wilder world presentation is even a bit more exceptional, for curves and swoops and soft angles rule the forms of organic beings (humans, bees, and otherwise).
To use bricks that have definite right angles while achieving that organic softness is a nifty end result. See it for yourself, enjoy some hands-on to-dos, and soak in the pretty botanic garden in all of its spring's-coming-soon grandeur.