Rubik’s Cube Murals: Team of Magicians Spin Cubes into Art


James Bradford

The Rubik’s Cube club create pixelated pieces of art for display in the trophy case. The current artwork shows a red fox.

After school in Mr. Bradford’s classroom, several cubes spin rapidly, not by themselves, but by the hands of experienced middle school Rubik’s cubers. They are working together to achieve a common goal: to construct a mural entirely out of Rubik’s Cubes.

The Longfellow Rubik’s Cube team has created three murals: one to depict Martin Luther King Jr., one to depict the statue of liberty, and the most recent, a fox. To create the artworks, students work together to solve one side of the cube to a specific pattern, and then put that cube next to another cube, and so on.

Patterns and templates for the artwork can be found various places online. Team members vote to choose which image to create next.

After spinning the cubes to the required positions, they must be carefully stacked in the right order to create the desired image.

“My favorite part of creating the murals is when they’re finished, and I can look back,” says Nicholas W., a member of the Longfellow Middle School Rubik’s Cube team.

This project came to be when Mr. Bradford, science teacher and sponsor of the Rubik’s Cube team, was looking for a way the team could hone their skills after the competition was over. Although that was the central idea, it has become so much more. The Rubik’s Cube murals this team creates are displayed in the front cabinet for the whole school to see, showing what knowing your way around Rubik’s Cubes can do outside of the competition.

However special this art may be, it is not exclusive to Longfellow. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, a man named Connor Wright was also into Rubik’s Cubes and enjoyed watching baseball as a pastime. To honor his favorite player, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, and his love for Rubik’s Cubes, he created a mural to depict his idol.

One specific version of this type of art, a Mona Lisa Rubik’s Cube mural created by the French street artist Franck Slama sold for 480,000 euros ($521,000), at auction, according to AFP, a global news agency. Slama, who goes by the pseudonym Invader, claims to have created this art form, calling it Rubikcubism.

Slama’s Mona Lisa, of course, is a more advanced version than the ones put together by the Longfellow Team, as it contained 330 Rubik’s Cubes and required exquisite detail. Still, it just goes to show what can be accomplished with dedication, practice, and vision.