Brian Hanna was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Not a traditional artist, Brian attended Oregon State University where in 1994 he obtained a degree in Construction Engineering Management. It was in 2012 when Brian decided to combine his love of art, LEGO® bricks, and his construction knowledge to create complex mosaics. Brian examines pop icons and everyday objects in a nostalgic context, using images that inspire an emotional response from the viewer. Brian is currently working on a number of pieces with subjects ranging from political to sentimental.
Designing and creating artwork initially began as a therapeutic outlet but over the years has developed into an addictive passion. In the past nine years, I have created over 60 pieces, from Babe Ruth to Prince to landscapes. The inspiration for each piece can come from a variety of sources usually a favorite memory of feeling.
I have always been interested in pop culture; music, movies, sports, icons and nostalgia. It offers a fun escape from the routine of everyday life. Interesting people trigger in me an inner desire to share their depth. My goal for each piece is to evoke a personal response, usually a smile, but also awe.
LEGO® bricks have always been a big part of my life, I played with them extensively as a kid. They have beautiful, bright colors that lend themselves to interesting and vibrant art. I love the texture, and how they fit neatly into squares.
A perfectionist by nature, each piece begins with a flat photo, but slowly evolves into a three-dimensional, intriguing work of art. The transformation of bringing each to life is a challenge that I crave. The process starts inside out, beginning at the center of the face; the eyes, nose and mouth. It might involve a handful of colors, but usually develops into many layers of tints and shades to ultimately present a one-of-a-kind creation.
I order bricks from around the world and will stop at nothing to find exactly the right colors. Once a piece is ‘complete,’ it is not uncommon for me to make adjustments until I find the perfect blend and shape. What I see when I stand back can look completely different to me with the swap of just a few bricks.
Many contemporary artists inspire me. Originally it was Andy Warhol, and then as I expanded my knowledge-base, learned to admire and appreciate Chuck Close, Shepard Fairey and John Stango’s work. It’s fascinating to study the nuances of other artists. I look forward to continuing to share my creations, inspiring others and being a positive influence in the world of art.