It’s not a far reach for Andy Bauch to jump from encoding digital video to creating digital-inspired mosaics with LEGO bricks. Originally from Queens, New York, Andy settled on the West Coast where his art career has thrived. Using LEGOs as his medium, Andy’s Krrb corner is a testament to his fondness for pop culture. Read on to see how Andy built his collection of bricks and what inspires him.
Hi Andy! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a self-taught artist and I work primarily with LEGO bricks as my medium. I got into LEGO mosaics in 2010 and have since pushed over 100,000 bricks.
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I was born in New York, raised outside Boston and I currently live in downtown Los Angeles.
What is the most awesome thing in or about your neighborhood?
Everything is awesome here. It’s the most bustling and walkable part of Los Angeles, has a thriving restaurant and bar scene and tons of cool independent stores.
What is your favorite place you go locally to discover hidden treasures?
I do all my treasure hunting online, but I stop by Beelman’s Pub more often than anywhere else in my neighborhood.
What blogs or websites do you visit regularly?
As a kid, were any of your toys and clothes hand-me-downs? Stories please!
A whole bunch of my toys were. GI Joe’s, LEGO sets, etc. I have a brother three years older than me! Luckily Dan didn’t wear out the GI Joe’s too badly before I got to them.
How did you amass your thousands of used lego bricks?
I bought the vast majority of them from people that sell them secondhand! A lot of the pieces I’ve bought used. Some of course directly from LEGO as well.
From where do you draw inspiration when working on your Lego art?
I draw my inspiration from the pop culture and traditional art worlds. In general, I try to pick subjects matters which will make for pieces that are fascinating to examine up close and at distance, and which contrast in tone with the cheerfulness of LEGO bricks.
Have you ever taken home an object you found in the street or
dumpster? If so, what was it? And where is it now?
No, but I once threw out my framed college diploma and a few months later was contacted by a stranger on the internet who let me know that he bought it from a man who was selling it on the street from his shopping cart. He liked the frame so he bought the thing from him for a few bucks and then told me I could have the diploma back if I wanted it.
Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
I’m a minimalist at heart but I end up with a lot of junk that I only get to purging periodically.
What is your most cherished thrifted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled
object you possess? What’s the story behind it?
I suppose the thousands of used LEGO bricks I currently have in my inventory.
In general, I try to pick subjects matters which will make for pieces that are fascinating to examine up close and at distance, and which contrast in tone with the cheerfulness of LEGO bricks.
How long does it take you to work on one Lego mosaic?
It varies a lot depending on the complexity and size of the piece. Basically anywhere between 10 and 50 hours.
What are you working on these days?
I’m currently finalizing the design of a LEGO mosaic of Groucho Marx. It should be done in the next month or so!
You said you started making Lego art in 2010. What did you do before? And how did it lead you to making mosaics?
In 2010 I was studying digital video encoding techniques and building huge server farms for Disney. I realized I could apply image compression techniques to translate digital, lifelike subjects into real world mosaics, and that LEGO bricks, ubiquitous, colorful, and standardized, might be the perfect medium!