During the day, Zachary Steinman manages a bicycle shop in Nova Scotia. But at night—and we mean nearly every single night—he snaps together intricate, abstract Lego sculptures that have a temporary shelf life. “Most of the [sculptures] are gone and recycled,” he says, mentioning how he has thousands of photos of prior works. The sculptures, these cubic studies of shapes and patterns, are not preconceived. Each amorphous, geometric piece is an extension of how Steinman feels that evening. Even something as intricate as the solvable maze cube can take 35 minutes to complete.
Steinman grew up with Legos in the 1970s (his favorite, the “Galaxy Explorer”) but only returned to building them during the pandemic. “A lot of people rediscovered things about their creative selves,” he says about that time. He began with basic, out-of-the-box constructs like the Tantive IV from Star Wars: A New Hope, but he wanted to see what he could create on his own, especially since the advent of new, intricate slope and tile pieces.
Each sculpt begins by building out the corner of a base cube, a six-sided studded plate, assembled using S.N.O.T. bricks (i.e., studs not on top) which have studs in multiple directions. From there he layers piece upon piece, organically expanding outward, creating things that look like ridged crystals found in some alien mine or a device from a Christopher Nolan film.
“At the beginning when people were calling my stuff art, I wasn’t fully accepting,” he says, mentioning how his mom, an artist herself, encouraged for a long time. “But now … there’s been this sort of an awakening—an outlet.” Now, after multiple requests and DMs, Steinman is setting aside more sculptures to potentially show at a gallery and perhaps sell, instead of dismantle, in the future.
Find more of Steinman’s (nightly) builds on Instagram @SteinmanZachary.
Images courtesy of Zachary Steinman
Words by David MacNeal