Rob Surette wanted to create something unlike any artist’s tribute to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, so he turned to one of his favorite childhood toys, Lite-Brite pegs, and managed to create the world’s largest Lite-Brite image.
Known for his quick brush strokes, the self described “fastest portrait artist in the world” once painted a portrait of Albert Einstein in just 60 seconds, but while his lighting speed hasn’t won him a place in the record books, his latest artwork, made from hundreds of thousands of Lite-Brite pegs, surely will. “It wasn’t like I wanted to beat that world record, I wanted to create something to add to the healing of Sept. 11,” Surette says about his 10 feet by 20 feet Lite-Brite creation entitled World Peace. Made from 504,000 pegs, and weighing around 1,750 pounds, it depicts 100 faces of different races, cultures and religions and is meant to promote world peace.
“I felt that with my inspiration, to have it be a world record will help catch more people’s attention and help it travel and be seen around the world,” Surette said about his work. He first got the idea of creating the largest Lite-Brite image after seeing a picture of the current record holder on an art blog. It was the Lite-Brite recreation of a training sneaker made by Lori Kanary, with 374,004 pegs. As a matter of fact Kanary actually shared some trade secrets with Rob Surette after hearing the motivation behind his work of art, and he apologized for breaking her world record.
As a child growing up in the 70’s, Surette found Lite-Brite mesmerizing, and while didn’t own a set, his cousin did and the two would always try to recreate images using as many pegs as possible. Much to their disappointment, they never had enough to fill the screen. Luckily, for World Peace, the artist got all the Lite-Brite pegs he wanted after maker Hasbro heard about the message he was trying to promote, and decided to contribute by making Lite-Bright donations.
The Lite-Brite World Peace depicts faces of western and eastern parts of the world reaching out towards each other in a gesture of peace and love. They are separated by a black divide which Rob Surette says signifies the void between America and the rest of the world, but with all the people looking at each other with similar expressions, World Peace is meant to show similarities rather than divide.
Rob took a year to complete his amazing project and plans to have it displayed around both in the US and around the world so it can inspire as many people as possible.