Proving once again the versatility of the world’s greatest toy, a German artist named Jan Vormann is traveling around the world, “repairing” old buildings and decaying structures with LEGO bricks. This “guerilla art,” which he’s dubbed Dispatchwork, has already taken him to major global cities like Tel Aviv, Berlin, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Zuerich, and most recently, a two-week stint in New York City.
In each location, Vormann gathers an army of assistants — made up of children and adults alike — and wanders the streets in search of missing bricks, tiles, stones, and other construction materials in need of replacing. There’s no method to the placement of the plastic bricks, resulting in a mosaic of bricks of different sizes and colors. And quite often while conducting their unique repair work, Vormann and his helpers attract quite a lot of attention from passersby, many of whom are only too happy to join in.
The artist doesn’t usually ask permission to do LEGO patchwork on the buildings or landmarks he selects; he just does it. Which doesn’t seem to matter all that much, since his LEGO patches tend to fall apart fairly quickly. I think part of his reasons for doing what he does is to illicit reactions from locals — the Dispatchwork website describes a full spectrum of reactions from amusement and enthusiasm to disgruntled irritation that he’s meddling with private property.
Vormann, who regularly creates art installations of all kinds in public places, considers himself a serious artist, though he reportedly thinks of Dispatchwork as more of a fun activity than any kind of work. The LEGO Group, for its part, hasn’t given Vormann’s work an official endorsement, but the company is believed to be closet fans of what he’s doing.
Vormann already has Dispatchwork trips planned for Barcelona, Toulouse, and Lausanne.
Kinda makes me want to go try it for myself.