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Lego interpretations of classic photos

Posted by Joshua Glenn  June 11, 2008 10:18 AM

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Henri Cartier-Bresson's "Behind the Gare Saint Lazare" (1932) is perhaps the most famous of the French photographer's "decisive moment" shots. A pedestrian's unself-conscious jump over a puddle behind a Parisian train station was an entirely ordinary event until Cartier-Bresson happened to capture it (and its reflection) on film. Now it speaks to us of daily moments of antigravity in a repressive modern world. What could be more delightful?

How about a recreation of "Behind the Gare Saint Lazare"... using Lego?

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British Flickr member Mike Stimpson (Balakov) created the above image with only a little Photoshop help (to remove the string suspending the figure, and to convert the photo from color to b/w). He even shows us how he did it:

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Stimpson has also recreated "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" (1932), by Charles Ebbets; Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1945 photograph "V.J. Day Times Square," and the iconic photo (by Neil Armstrong) of astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon in 1969.

Not all of Stimpson's recreations are cute, though.

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His version of Malcolm Browne's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1963 photograph of Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation in protest over persecution of Buddhists in South Vietnam, for example, is creepy. Since Stimpson went to so much trouble already, couldn't he have wiped the smile of this Lego figure's face?

Quick, let's get back to the cute stuff. Here's my favorite: A recreation of the famous still frame from Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin's 1967 film footage of Bigfoot. Using a Lego figure of the most charismatic megafauna the world has ever known: Chewbacca.

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Via Spurgeonblog.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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