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Meet the Ghanaian Canadian Lego Sculptor Building a Black Universe

Legos may be kids’ stuff, but in the hands of Ekow Nimako, they become fine works of art. Using only black legos, the Ghanaian Canadian artist has been sculpting some fantastical works that are meant to celebrate the spirit of Black people. In 2014, Nimako made his first human sculpture, “Flower Girl,” which “spoke to the innocence lost of young Black girls that didn’t get a chance to be like traditional flower girls in the West — speaking to the girls that came here as a result of the transatlantic slave trade,” he said. The sculpture, which is now touring the UK, was initially the size of a six-year-old girl but as his technique developed and more Lego pieces were released, he aged her and enhanced her aesthetic. She is now the size of an average 10-year-old. In his “Building Black: Civilizations” series, Nimako reimagines medieval sub-Saharan African narratives. His “Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE” piece, which is made up of around 100,000 Lego bricks and can be found in the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, is named after the capital city of a medieval Ghanaian kingdom.