The Scream recreated in LEGO, with the person in 3D in front of the bridge and sunset as a flat background. The whole scultpure is viewed at a skewed angle.

😱 Artist Nathan Sawaya recreates Edvard Munch’s The Scream in LEGO, on exhibit in The Art of the Brick.

Perhaps it’s a cliche, but I’ve rather liked The Scream since I first saw a print of it somewhere. (Well, one version of it, anyway, as the artist created four of them.) Maybe it was in an art book, maybe it was a poster. Maybe it was one of a zillion pop culture references to it. (Heck, it’s got its own emoji now.) I associate it with college, but I also associate it with the crowd I hung out with in high school, so it’s hard to say.

And of course growing up in the 1980s means I have a lot of fond memories of playing with LEGO.

I got to see the full exhibit at the Fleet Science Center last week. (It’s there through the end of January). The first two rooms are mostly recreations of famous paintings and sculptures — Starry Night, the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and so on — and the rest are original works. Some are realistic, while others are outright surreal. Almost all of them are done using standard rectangular LEGO bricks and tiles.

Sadly, the 6YO was not impressed by the subject matter, the creativity, or the craftsmanship (he was much more interested in building in the play area afterward), and tried to leave several times before we got through the whole exhibit. Then we got to the the dinosaur skeleton. That one he liked, as well as the crowd walking along a street that, when viewed from the right angle, lines up with the markings on the wall to form the image of an eye.

My dresser is an IKEA kit and was something of a bear to assemble. The second drawer down has recently developed the annoying habit of not closing on the first go, and I feel a strange obligation to fix it but I’m not sure how. It’d be nice if the stuff would come with more instructions for maintenance.

So this gets me thinking: IKEA furniture is Lego for grown-ups. You go to the store, look at the cool pictures, and pick up a box of parts to make the model you want. When you get it home and open the box, sometimes the picture inside doesn’t look like what you saw in the store, but you think, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll make it anyway, maybe I’ll figure out how to make the other thing later.” So you count up all the little pieces and lay them out and once in a while there’s some stuff missing but you always have extras around because every other set you have included the same interchangeable parts and didn’t need them all. When you start assembling it, you’re just about guaranteed to miss a step or do something out of order and have a tough time getting the pieces apart to put them back together right. And when you’re done, part of the enjoyment of having the finished product around is looking at it and thinking, “Hey, look what I made!”