Culture & Arts

Jeff Friesen's Mini Stereotypes Of LEGO America Are Coming To A Coffee Table Near You

Jeff Friesen isn't looking to take over the world, but he is looking to re-create it -- and he's doing it brick-by-brick.

As the creator of the wildly popular LEGO scenes "The Great LEGO North," "The 50 States of LEGO" and the recent "Bricksy," Friesen's work has been ruling the LEGO-loving internet since he laid the first brick last fall.

Now, the Canadian photographer's U.S. series is getting the hard copy treatment: A book with forty exclusive new scenes will be released in September.

(See "The 50 States of LEGO" below.)

With a mix of sight gags (Delaware) and pop culture (Iowa), Friesen uses "The 50 States of LEGO" to riff on the impressions, history and stereotypes from each state in the union. Speaking from his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Friesen told HuffPost that he's confident in his insights into the 50 states -- despite being a native Manitoban.

“I lived in the states for a couple of years, and I’m pretty well-traveled," Friesen said. "I’ve been to about 37 states -- though many of them were visited at high speed while driving.”

For Maryland, a state Friesen hasn't visited, he seized on the state's iconic seafood. Other states, like Illinois, are represented by their largest or most iconic city: the Land of Lincoln has two new exclusive scenes featured in the book that depict The Blues Brothers and the St. Patrick's Day tradition of dying the river green and -- both distinctly Chicago institutions.

Friesen only uses official LEGO bricks and pieces to create his scenes, a limitation that has forced him to get extra-creative in some instances: "For Georgia, I can’t do a peach farmer, because you can’t do peaches in LEGOS."

This, Friesen explained, is also why his LEGO citizens have a carb-heavy diet of bread, croissant, pizza, and the occasional chicken drumstick or carrot.

While the clever captions and scenes can be a little subversive at times, Friesen said the series has turned out to be virtually "troll-proof," receiving largely positive feedback.

"More often than not, people are in agreement about my [characterizations]," Friesen said. "My Canada ones are a little more pointed than the ones I made for the U.S., because I live here."

After his "The 50 States of LEGO" book is released, Friesen said he'll look to build scenes of London. He also plans to collaborate more with the builder who inspired his LEGO artwork to begin with -- his 7-year-old daughter, June.

"June's a really a good builder," Friesen said. "She’s much more abstract than me: She’ll have a werewolf running a coffee shop.”

Alabama
Jeff Friesen
"The rising Crimson Tide washes tailgaters onto the playing field—or so they later claimed to the referee."
Alaska
Jeff Friesen
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Fish for a man and he is food for a week."
Arizona
Jeff Friesen
"To be honest, John and Juan are still on the fence about their friendship."
Arkansas
Jeff Friesen
"Promenade across the floor, Shimmy right on out the door, Henpeck a chicken, buff your cat, These DJ beats are really fat."
California (North)
Jeff Friesen
"Moonbeam's compost-powered hybrid generates a respectable 32 fruit flies per rotting banana peel."
California (South)
Jeff Friesen
"Referring to Twinkie-Poo as an accessory pet was their first mistake."
Colorado
Jeff Friesen
"Head 'em up, move 'em out, send 'em down...the snowboard wranglers of Aspen hoof it on the slopes."
Connecticut
Jeff Friesen
"Cruising with the Stepford wives of I-95."
Delaware
Jeff Friesen
"Inspired by Emanuel Leutze's famous painting, Washington Crosses the Delaware."
Florida
Jeff Friesen
"Reptilian life-forms rule the beaches of Florida. Most are slow-moving, but some will strike without warning at a 4:00 p.m. dinner special."
Georgia
Jeff Friesen
"As it turns out, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara's passion for one another was easily doused by local firefighters."
Hawaii
Jeff Friesen
"Sometimes extreme surfing is more about the board than the wave."
Idaho
Jeff Friesen
"Farmer Abe is justifiably wary of little green men, but this wee fellow has big eyes for taters...not to mention he pays in solid gold."
Illinois
Jeff Friesen
"Bugsy's mom is thrilled that he's running his own lemonade stand this summer. And to think, he hasn't rubbed out any of his playmates since June."
Indiana
Jeff Friesen
"After bouncing back from harrowing crashes all season, an unknown racer won the Indy 500 by driving as if he had nothing to lose."
Iowa
Jeff Friesen
"Every summer you see them emerging bright yellow from their green jackets: the children of the corn."
Kansas
Jeff Friesen
"There's no place like home, but if your house is frequently blown aloft, it helps to wear a parachute indoors."
Kentucky
Jeff Friesen
"Brave belles explore the outer reaches of the Kentucky Derby hat."
Louisiana
Jeff Friesen
"A Mardi Gras float is only as good as its cleanup crew."
Maine
Jeff Friesen
"If you find yourself in a pinch, just rub the swollen area with moxie."
Maryland
Jeff Friesen
"Today the crabs decided to have a picnic of their own."
Massachusetts
Jeff Friesen
"The British are coming! How Paul Revere figured it out is anyone's guess."
Michigan
Jeff Friesen
"Machines will never replace humans in manufacturing or caption writing. Ha! —This automated caption generated by Dumbchuckle Software's Groaner 5.1"
Minnesota
Jeff Friesen
"Some places have a dry cold. In Minnesota it's a nice cold, okey-dokey?"
Mississippi
Jeff Friesen
"Slow-cooked meat that's finer than frog's hair and tenderer than toad love."
Missouri
Jeff Friesen
"The wakeboarding scenes were edited out of Mark twain's books for brevity."
Montana
Jeff Friesen
"Curiously absent from Lewis and Clark's journals is Gaston, their faithful manservant."
Nebraska
Jeff Friesen
"Chimney Rock has to be around here somewhere."
Nevada
Jeff Friesen
"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, hopes Gilbert, who rarely stage-crashes showgirl performances back in Des Moines."
New Hampshire
Jeff Friesen
"Robert enjoys climbing in the White Mountains for the solitude that only untouched wilderness provides."
New Jersey
Jeff Friesen
"Dreams come to life on the Jersey shore, and some nightmares as well."
New Mexico
Jeff Friesen
"People tend to shy away from probing questions in the Land of Enchantment."
New York
Jeff Friesen
"Give me your tired, your poor, your creamy masses of tartar sauce."
North Carolina
Jeff Friesen
"The truth is that while Wilbur did most of the flying, Orville had other interests at the Kitty Hawk beach."
North Dakota
Jeff Friesen
"Home, home on the range, where the reruns of Three's Company play."
Ohio
Jeff Friesen
"Ohio puzzles presidential candidates, but kids love living in a swing state"
Oklahoma
Jeff Friesen
"Home to famous cattle drives. Tailgate their methane-powered rides at your own peril."
Oregon
Jeff Friesen
"Free-range chickens flee gluten-free hipsters at the FreeBird food truck."
Pennsylvania
Jeff Friesen
"The heavyweight cheesesteak champion is also a patron of fine arts museum stairways."
Rhode Island
Jeff Friesen
"Sometimes a quahog decides to stuff itself."
South Carolina
Jeff Friesen
"Annie May mixes Southern culture both genteel and otherwise in her customized off-road Charleston house."
South Dakota
Jeff Friesen
"A chance encounter provides inspiration for large-scale sculpture in the Black Hills."
Tennessee
Jeff Friesen
"One can't help falling in love with a peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich."
Texas
Jeff Friesen
"Rounding up the little doggies who've lost their way."
Utah
Jeff Friesen
"Delicate arches and delicate noggins collide in the Utah backcountry."
Vermont
Jeff Friesen
"Vermont is celebrated for playing a crucial role in 1983's hit song, 'Sweet Trees (Are Made of This).'"
Virginia
Jeff Friesen
"In the Navy you can do just what you please."
Washington
Jeff Friesen
"We can only close our eyes using clothespins."
West Virginia
Jeff Friesen
"There's just five minutes left of Bobby's uneventful shift in the mine."
Wisconsin
Jeff Friesen
"After jumping the shark, Arthur Fonzarelli limits his outdoor activities to helping with the traditional Wisconsin cheese harvest."
Wyoming
Jeff Friesen
"Never feed Yellowstone's grizzly photo bombers with the attention they so wildly crave."

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