We all grew up playing with LEGOs, constructing fantasy scenes and architectural masterpieces that kept us occupied for hours. But what if those same creations invaded our everyday space? Italian architect and photographer Domenico Franco took his lifelong passion for LEGOs in an artistic direction with his project LEGO Outside LEGOLAND. The quirky series of images toys with our sense of scale, as life-sized LEGO trucks, helicopters, race cars, bulldozers, and trains are inserted into the streets of Rome.
Starting in 2014, Franco digitally placed LEGO vehicles within images of the city—a LEGO helicopter touches down in front of the Colosseum, a LEGO train moves through the busy Porta Maggiore intersection, and a truck rolls out a LEGO Formula 1 race car. There’s even a LEGO bulldozer finishing up construction. The smooth plastic surfaces and bright colors of the vehicles make them pop out from the background, while at the same time looking so real you can’t help but look twice at the image.
“The aim is to transform ordinary contexts in extraordinary ones,” explains Franco, “thus compelling the toys to get out of the idyllic and politically correct landscapes belonging to their perfect and idealistic cities (e.g. LEGOLAND), with the result of instilling in them those vices, virtues and desires typical of human beings.”
If you’re wondering how Franco got these life-size vehicles onto Italy’s streets, without causing mayhem, this behind-the-scenes image should clear up the confusion.
All images via Domenico Franco.