“Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.”

Of course there is no way of knowing if this “Alien”  bust by Mihai Marius Mihu is hostile or not, but as the Captain of this starship,  I’m not taking any chances.  We will not be violating Manifesto quarantine protocols to bring this thing on board the ship.  No sir, we will not.  There is also no doubt that the model is “structural perfection“, its curves and textures are worthy of your favorite superlative.  What we are seeing here is a builder just entering his prime with a toolbox full of techniques and the artistic vision to use them.  It’s very exciting to look at Mihai’s powerful work today and know that the best is yet to come.  I was going to catalogue all the amazing details of the model, but to do so seems ridiculous, one look should sell you on its greatness.  It’s time like these that I wonder if the generic Lego-blog boilerplate is best: introduce the model, say something complementary but forgettable and get out of the way.  Instead, I’ve worked very hard to find one nitpick.  The section just above the bridge of the nose seems off to me, you can see a field of studs behind the trans-blue and trans-red bars and I find it distracting.  This isn’t an anti-stud rant, I absolutely love the way Mihai incorporated studs on the collar (and there are a lot of them), I wouldn’t change those studs for anything.  But the area in question looks unfinished to me because the rest of the build is indeed so purposeful and so dense with clever detail. While I like the blue bars near the top of the head, I don’t think they are as effective right above the nose.  There is also a small field of studs just below the trans-blue of the nose that seems a little rough as well.

Forget the nitpicking though, it’s all about those spooky eyes and the trans-blue elements underneath them.  “Alien” is a breathtaking model that stopped me in my tracks and had me immediately opening a new tab for WordPress.  Usually I leave the shiny A-list stuff to the big blogs, but this time I couldn’t resist.  Well done, Mihai, this thing looks alien indeed and I thank you in advance for all the great models to come.

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12 thoughts on ““Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.”

    1. Although you’re quite right, it never ceases to surprise me when you leave comments like this and offer nothing of substance. It should not surprise me and yet it does. Trans pink! You’re fucking right! How could I be so stupid.

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  1. B-list blog, with A list content and A-list readership 🙂

    Mihai is just one of those out of this world builders that I can’t fathom how he does it. I remember looking at his dante’s inferno collaboration and how amazing him and Tyler H were able to translate his sketches into brick. So much talent.

    Though I’d be very interesting to see how his skill set translate into non sculptures, like space or town.
    I’m a firm believer that a good builder is a good builder regardless of genre. And it’d be one heck of an interesting build.

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    1. I’ll take that for the win. I’m always up to see a builder try something new, but I’m not sure about your supposition that a good builder is good regardless of genre. I can think of a few examples when I think: dude, don’t quit your day job. I would like to see Mihai take a shot at something different, his style is so unique that it would be interesting to see how it translated to other themes and styles.

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  2. I think Mihai was the first Lego artist I really saw breaking the rules and being provocative and innovative; he pushes brick beyond it being Lego. His Nine Rings of Hell series is still a high watermark in my book as well as his Rivers of Hell (having studied and artistically interpreted Dante’s Inferno myself, Hell holds a special place in my heart.) His alien/space stuff is always interesting and so stylistic that it is easily definable as his work. His vision is unique and I think that anyone that can’t identify his iconic work instantly in a line up should turn in their Lego card and take up Play-doh.

    This head is absolutely no exception to his talent. And your reference to Alien pulls more into the very few degrees of separation between Mihai and Giger. The interesting thing that happens with work like this is how it makes you want to look closer at it but also repels you at the same time. Brilliant!

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    1. While I don’t debate for a second that Mihai is insanely talented, I’m not sure what rules it’s breaking? I also disagree that he pushes it beyond being Lego, it always looks very Lego to me so I’m curious what makes it so for you. The one place we are in violent agreement is that his stuff is instantly recognizable which is one of the traits shared by the very best builders.

      I do object to you disparaging the Play-Doh community, they are doing some really cutting edge stuff and Mihai would be hard pressed to get noticed over there. Why don’t you come down off you high horse. “You’re all sluts!”

      The eyes really are disquieting to me, I don’t often associate the word “repels” and Lego models but you’re right. There is something off-putting about the face and that takes a real talent to achieve.

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      1. I guess Matt didn’t choose the word well… rules is not exactly right. It’s more about pushing the boundaries; first and foremost with the subjects he tackles. I remember a while ago, some guy signed up on our lug forum and started complaining that his models are grotesque and should not be posted. It may seem silly, but the lego-toys association is a serious plague that severely limits creativity. The imagery he creates is also quite unique in the hobby. Sure, everyone’s building aliens and stuff, but can you point to any build that’s remotely similar? He also created his own style that’s instantly recognizable… another thing that doesn’t exactly happens too often in the community.

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      2. That makes more sense to me, I guess he pushes the boundaries in terms of subject matter, I’m not as sure about technique, but I’d have to examine his stuff more closely. That guy in your LUG forum sounds like an idiot, he reminds me of the woman who called Bryce McGlone’s giant robot “satanic”. I agree with you completely that the toy association is a plague, but one that is inescapable. The part that gets to me is that section of people who see something wrong with adult men building with Lego because “it’s a toy”. No use in complaining too much about it though, it’s never going to go away, I just wonder how many people out there would build, if there was not a stigma attached to it.

        I wasn’t trying to diminish Mihai’s work, it is instantly recognizable and it’s always compelling and I can’t really point to anything similar off the top of my head. In fact, I think I said all that in the article, I’m a big fan…I just didn’t get rountRee’s “break the rules” comment, I thought it was a little over the top.

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      3. Sorry, slow to the trigger as I just read this, and L’etranger is correct. Rules is such an ugly word on so many levels anyways and I used it here as such. I guess “expected parameters” may be closer and inclusive. Mainly the lay person’s understanding of the toy aspect is challenged and that perspective is what I was drawing the conclusion from. With the “beyond Lego” comment, I was thinking that Lego as a narrative tool/medium is something explored rarely to full effect. The versatility of these plastic bits is expanded. And the notion of “grotesque” is a purely loaded term. Francis Bacon said, “Chaos breeds images.” And with that on our utility belts, the word then becomes a beautiful thing regardless of what it is describing.

        As far as the Play-doh community goes, they can all eat a cock! I still have that goddamn smell forever imprinted on my brain.

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      4. That makes more sense, I know what Mihai does is amazing and challenging but I think the “breaks all the rules” thing gets tossed around too much. He seems to follow the same rules the rest of us do, there is no gluing or cutting or mixed media stuff. But I see what you’re saying, he is doing things that few builders aspire to do.

        I’m gonna tell them you said that, be prepared to have hell unleashed on you.

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  3. “The part that gets to me is that section of people who see something wrong with adult men building with Lego because “it’s a toy”. ”

    Funnily enough this part doesn’t bother me at all; the world is filled with individuals with a very narrow view to put it nicely. There’s always going to be someone that will find a certain activity to be too much to comprehend… which automatically makes the person doing it an idiot. 🙂

    What gets me are the adults in the hobby imposing this limitation upon themselves (but then again, that’s their problem, not mine)… and expecting it from others. Now that final part is something I despise.

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    1. Don’t tell a sculptor that they are playing with mud, although they essentially are. The word “medium” is a wonderfully inclusive term without prejudice or boundaries (or rules while we’re on that subject. 😉 ) Personally, I love telling people that I use Lego as a medium. Sometimes their reactions are worth all the supposed embarrassment. Not only that, if you talk to the right person, they will say something like, “Legos? Shit, I have several boxes in my attic you’re welcome to.” Oh, alright. 😀 My favorite is when they give you the “smile and nod” and then you keep telling them about the conventions and the new pieces and all the new colors even though they almost imperceptibly start backing up from you. Delightful.

      I always figured that if they can’t even comprehend that almost everything is essentially a medium, they’ll NEVER figure out what you’re doing with it. And it is ENTIRELY their loss.

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