Artist creates amazing sculptures out of Legos

(CBS News) Nathan Sawaya started playing with Legos when he was 5-years-old, and he never quit. He's made everything from giant sculptures to replicas of famous pieces of art from his favorite childhood toy.

He doesn't think that he should "mature" into another art-from and said that using Legos is his passion.

"I've sculpted out of clay, and I've sculpted out of wire," he said. "I choose to use this toy to make my art accessible so more and more people can really appreciate the art world that might never ever do so."

Sawaya holds exhibitions around the world, and the one in New York City is his biggest so far.

It's also somewhat of a coming home. He left his corporate law job in Manhattan nine years ago.

"There were some friends who thought I was making a huge mistake and thought, 'You are giving up a six figure salary to go play with toys,'" said Sawaya. "That was tough at first because I had gallery doors slammed in my face. Galleries were kind of like, 'Uh-huh, good luck with your little Lego art.'"

The artist has tackled the "Mona Lisa," the Venus de Milo, "American Gothic" and even the Sistine Chapel, all of which can be a little bit intimidating.

"Part of the nervousness I have for this exhibition is how people are going to react to seeing works that are so iconic," he said. "I hope they can see I'm trying to be as respectful as possible."

It's his original pieces, though, that play with the mind. He creates pieces where you're swimming in a sea of Legos or ripping open their chest.

His exhibit even includes the work of artists he's inspired and has a model of the Empire State Building created by a 6-year-old.

"Fingerpaint with your kids, maybe snap a few Legos together with your kids," he said. "It'll make you happier; it'll make you a better person."

For Andrea Lucia's full report, watch the video in the player above.