Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
Bison     ‹ Back to portfolio
Photo of Bison
76 x 40 x 39"        45,143 LEGO elements.        Completed May 4, 2012
Come visit! This sculpture and 26 others are touring the U.S. now through 2014. Over 25 larger-than-life sculptures created with nearly half a million LEGO pieces! Read more and come visit!

The life-sized Bison is nearly 7 feet long and contains 45,143 LEGO pieces. It was built together with Baby Bison ... and of course a cowbird milling about on its back. :)

My assistant Geoffrey (below, left) took the design lead on this sculpture and I built it together with a team of 6 model builders over the course of 6 weeks.


Building it

The entire sculpture took 700 hours to build, together with a team of 6 model builders over the course of 6 weeks.

The legs were surprisingly complicated to build. When we designed the sculpture, the idea of "sort of randomly adding fuzzy texture" seemed like a good idea, but when it came time to build it we were going cross-eyed, It doesn't' help that black doesn't visually read very well, which made it doubly hard to see what the heck we were doing.

Because this sculpture is installed outdoors, it needs to withstand the elements and overly curious visitors. We designed a steel skeleton to reinforce the structure which can additionally be bolted to the ground.

Working around steel can be really tricky, especially when you need to line up four legs and ensure that they're all straight and "on the LEGO grid"? otherwise they won't properly connect up at his belly. Gluing as we go, we don't have the luxury to take things apart and tweak them, so we have to do a lot of drawing, planning, measuring and making-sure-we-get-it-right-the-first-time-ing.

The entire sculpture was assembled in my New York City art studio, then custom-crated in museum-quality exhibition crates for my new show, Nature Connects, which is currently touring the United States.