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Lego become nightmare fuel in a grisly new serial killer photo series

Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

Finnish photographer Juhamatti Vahdersalo has been indulging in every child's fantasy of building a Lego paradise for himself, complete with out-of-body horror, bloody entrails, viscera — you know, all the usual stuff.

Vahdersalo has been working on a grisly photo series envisioning a lone dark Lego character as a terrifying serial killer. The grim fates of his victims, mangled, tortured, dismembered, bespeak the horrifying truth that everything is very far from awesome.

Sure, we could read Vahdersalo's unnamed ax-wielding Patrick Bateman figure as blackly comedic, but we could also read him as a terrifying morality tale. Deprived of meaning and identity in a mindlessly nihilistic world of consumerism, our antihero resorts to bloodshed as a way to assert his individualism in a sea of identical collectible building blocks:

That we are drawn to root for him despite the carnage and mayhem he leaves behind says far more about our own quest for mindless entertainment than his thirst for destruction. Just a Lego? Yes. But one murderous Lego on a killing spree can say so much.

You can see all of Vahdersalo's art on his Flickr portfolio.