I Have a (Puzzling) Dream

Craft & Design Fun & Games
I Have a (Puzzling) Dream

Image (3) Dream-Big-2.png for post 116038

Image (1) Dream-Big.png for post 116038

Image (2) Dream-Big_1.png for post 116038

Make: Sales Manager Brigitte Kunde shared this amazing build with us, spotted online by a friend of hers. Pete Fecteau used over 4,000 Rubik’s Cubes to create this 18′ 6″ x 9′ 8″ mosaic of Dr. Martin Luther King. Apparently Rubik Cube artwork is a “thing.” There’s Rubik’s Einstein, Lincoln, Sitting Bull, Kathy Lee and Hoda(?). There’s even a name for the genre: Rubikcubism.

Here are the technical details of the build from Pete:

The mosaic is made of 4,242 officially licensed Rubik’s Cubes. It measures 19′ x 8’6″ x 2.25″ (5.8m x 2.6m x 5.7cm ). It weighs roughly 1000 pounds (454kg). Each cube has been “reversed solved” or twisted so that one of the faces maps it’s nine stickers into the total image, 38,178 stickers total. The construction process took a little over 40 hours and the final installation to about five and a half hours with 6 volunteers helping. The cubes were rented through the You Can Do The Cube organization. The mosaic was on display during the 2010 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan USA from September 22nd to October 10th. There were roughly 30,000 people who came to view the mosaic during that time. “Dream Big” placed in the top 50 out of 1,700+ entries. The mosaic was left intact for a month after the competition in an attempt to sell it. The pending sale did not materialize and the mosaic was disassembled in late November and the cubes were shipped back to their originating points.

See and read more on Pete Fecteau’s Website

254 thoughts on “I Have a (Puzzling) Dream

  1. Rex G. Baker IV says:

    What a spectacular accomplishment! Did the artist use a computer program to configure the images/cubes?

    1. biz says:

      Good question, i would like to know as well. What i would do is open up Photoshop, and set a palette of colors that match the Rubik’s cube. Then import a photo such that you want and determine how wide and tall you can shrink it down without losing too much quality. You make sure the pixels in the image are converted to your color palette and now each pixel represents a square on the cube. Make sure the math works and then have fun trying to make all the parts with 4000 or so cubes… I would say its less art and more technical work, which is the only thing i could ever do so i still think its awesome.

      1. jason tucker says:

        man that ain,t no rubix cube thats a pacman. don’t you know frogger.

        1. mr says:

          No Jason……his work is as u see it…..real art….i know a few people who can solve em cube puzzles in less than a minute

          good job bro.

  2. Hezekiah says:

    How much did you get paid…if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. petefecteau says:


      1. Denis Mujakovic says:

        fantastic feat, congratulations. noble motif aswell.

    2. Emma says:

      I don’t think he would get paid. I mean, it was his art work and I guess he wanted to put it in the art museum. Or he got asked to put it in there. but He wouldn’t get paid anything for that.

      1. Soon to be former night attendant says:

        …then the night attendant gets bored, solves all the cubes and puts them back.

  3. paul says:

    what does the back look like?

    1. rob says:

      david alan coe

      1. Pete Fecteau says:

        The back didn’t look like anything. It looked like scrambled cubes.

        1. Walter says:

          Isn’t that really all the front is also, scrambled cubes?

          1. James Thompson says:

            Man, if that’s scrambled, think of how awesome it will be when “unscrambled”. NO IT’S TRULY A WORK OF ART.

        2. Nick Clark says:

          lol – You clever fecker.

          I thought the back looked like a psychedelic negative?


          1. Roshan Sheela Jambhulkar says:

            LOL :)

    2. Drew says:

      A ‘negative’ of the front, i’d assume…

  4. MJ says:

    Impressed. Now, if there was another image on he other side, THEN I’d be super impressed.

    1. Emma says:

      It would be very awesome but VERY VERY hard to do that. Hahaha! Yea. I would be super impressed too! :)

        1. Sophia Kuriyama says:


  5. Brosidon says:

    @ Rex

    Probably it’s too difficult otherwise

  6. Archer Rhodes says:

    There should be an image on the back side and it should be the negative of the front i would imagine. think about it, if the artist used standard cubes with each color having a direct polar opposite then the back image should be the “negative” of the front.

    1. David says:

      That’s not how a Rubik’s cube works. The centers of each face are immovable, but otherwise you can change which squares are opposite of each other

  7. wouldntyouliketoknow says:

    pretty good stumble ;) I like it.

    1. steve says:

      He did this for Artprize in Grand Rapids, MI in 2010 like it says on his site.

      1. Esther Hollenbeck says:

        I did see this at the ArtPrize in Grandrapids, MI a few years ago. this is fantastic

    2. umsoyeah says:

      those pieces are very different from what hes done here…

  8. Mr.Loto says:

    Cool, I had never seen a composition made ​​with the Rubik’s Cube, who knows how much it cost. ..


  9. Eduardo says:


    1. bencro says:

      An unsuccessful art work. ‘Martin Luther King’ and ‘Rubik cubes’, how do these go on to become something new, i.e. an artwork. I like it but, I’m feeling, hidden shallows

  10. Al Rocuant says:

    I love talented people !!

  11. bryce says:

    man this is something that deserves much more publicity.. what motivated you to create something like this? its funny i just gave my first HONEST effort to do one of these damn things lol.. hit me back man..

  12. erin says:

    what an amazing stumble!

    1. erin hamlin says:

      my name is Erin too!

      1. Ronzineke says:

        But, do you live in Eire?

  13. Mia says:

    Props. Great Stumble.

  14. mcbri1rm says:

    Being from Grand Rapids, Art Prize is amazing to see. This is so cool!

  15. Kelli Nix says:

    what led the artist to this idea? how did he come up with the concept, and how long did it take for him to not only design the specs, but actually work the cubes to get the colors in the precise spaces? I am amazed. Excellent work!

  16. Amazed says:

    Wonderful artwork! I am utterly amazed at this man’s talent. But 4000 Rubik’s Cubes would cost so much money! I hope he bought them in bulk! (Even more, I hope someone bought his artwork for more than he paid for all of those cubes!)

  17. Corey says:

    ive been wanting to do this but ran into issues with acquiring such a large amount of cubes. any tips? how did you do it?

  18. Karol Sanchez Palacios says:


  19. Ed says:

    Just wondering how much 4,000 rubik’s cubes might cost and where did you buy them/ direct from factory? Wholesale?
    Fascinating Work!

  20. Dick Kuyten says:

    AWESOME! Great artwork of this great man!

  21. Ketan says:

    great example of hard work and concept !

  22. BestLife says:

    OMG, you are real good!
    did you plan and fill in the pattern with color in each pixel before start?

  23. quadhirababil says:

    Reblogged this on Quadhirababil's Blog.

  24. shanone says:

    very nice

  25. Pinar Tevek says:


  26. Brandon says:

    have u considered upgrading to 4×4 0r 5×5 for better picture quality?

  27. wildpersona says:

    amazing work

  28. Rawful News says:

    that’s crazy. he must be artistic AND autistic. http://rawfulnews.com/

    1. Emma says:

      That’s awful! Why would you say something like that?!?!? My brother is autistic and I don’t apreciate you saying stuff like that! That is rude and uncalled for! Wow! I can’t believe you said that!

      1. Rawful News says:

        Sorry didn’t mean any harm.

      2. Ronzineke says:

        You are mad because your brother can’t count cards like Ray Babbit :-)
        I feel you, autism is portraied like this amazing skill that can produce spectacular result, not like the disease it really is.

  29. lambskinny says:

    Reblogged this on Versatile Blogger Award and commented:
    What an amazing accomplishment — art from puzzles.

  30. dutchgoesitalian says:

    Wow, this is unique!!! Just fabulous!!

  31. Rick Morrone says:

    man.. this is too cool. not only did you have to map out the colors for the picture as a whole, but you had to then configure all the rubix cubes to those colors! how time consuming… props on your patience.

  32. Bubble Turd says:


    1. Ronzineke says:

      You wish…

  33. He keeps running into my bublets says:

    Did he died?

  34. Miles Whittaker says:

    That’s over 40,000 dollars worth of cubes. Awesome work though.

  35. The Salty Dawg says:

    Reblogged this on TheSaltyDawg.

  36. sidney says:

    this is ahhhmazing!

  37. claudia says:

    wow that is cool must have taken a long time

  38. jolanda says:

    I wonder how look it took to create such a beautiful piece!

  39. David Shantz (@DShantz) says:

    It seems you can buy a cube for between $8 and $15, so an expensive proposition… over $30k for materials…

  40. Brad Miller says:

    I don’t think this is what MLK was dreaming about.

  41. renemaltos says:


  42. jeanetmarie1 says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Cheers

  43. serkan says:

    man to crazy :)

  44. petefecteau says:

    I’m the artist who did “Dream Big”. Thank you for all the kind words. If you would like to support me further please check out my Kickstarter project for my next Rubik’s Cube mosaic… Albert Einstein http://kck.st/GrayMatters

  45. Moment Matters says:

    Is this really, really, for real? WOW talk about creativity and persistence. Great artwork!

  46. Hari Miriyala says:

    Fantastic, the clarity achieved in all three facial variations is superb.

  47. branwen says:

    whoaaa :O thts soo…cool :)

  48. Justin says:

    One of the coolest things I’ve seen

  49. Curtis Creative says:

    Absolutely Phenomenal!

  50. danielwalldammit says:

    The like button doesn’t seem to be working for me today, so I will just say that I like it manually.

    ….I like it.

  51. Peter says:

    I think I would have just moved the stickers…

  52. Emma says:

    This is amazing! I can’t believe that you did this! It’s so cool! I have a friend who can complete a cube in under a minute! Its amazing to watch how his hands move. Can you do that? I’m sure that you spend a TON of money. I hope for your sake that you got it all back plus some. Cause you deserve it. Wonderful work. But Why Martin Luther King? Why not a picture of your slef or of a tree or something?

  53. fricikoma says:

    That’s called rubikubism or Rubik’s cube pixel art. Read that article:

  54. Sheidz says:

    Great Stumble!! :)

  55. Alvaro says:

    How many time does the artist need to do this accomplishment?

  56. bening says:

    brilliant :D

  57. victoria blak says:

    WOW no artist people have some serious time
    This art work reminds me of my own 3D artwork…….. victoriablak.com

  58. jym says:

    its just insanely fab, well done.

  59. Marisa Polaschek says:

    Fucking amazing! Yours is the best I’ve seen online :-)

  60. PANii3 says:

    wow, thats really creative

  61. chesyl says:

    Reblogged this on You are born to be free. and commented:
    I wish I could be as patient as him.

  62. Harold N. Marable says:


  63. handy says:

    Wow, so wonderful more grease to your elbow.

  64. Ben says:

    Just imagine if someone dropped it while in transit :/

  65. Amy L. Cook says:

    I saw this at the Art Prize competition in Grand Rapids, MI in 2010. It was just amazing!

  66. Dave says:

    An amazing way to trivialize a true American hero.

  67. jmwalker17 says:

    Found this through StumbleUpon – such a fantastic idea! How long did the project take from conception to completion?

  68. leah saban says:

    This is pure brilliance – and pure love!

  69. Chicago Cosmetic Dentist says:

    Ha how creative1

  70. Dentist South Side Chicago says:

    That is impressive. Thanks for posting.

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  73. shyma says:


  74. XQuse says:

    I think this was an amazing piece. It’s hard enough trying to get the same color on the same side much less putting it together to create an unforgettable piece of art. AWESOME!!!

  75. Zareen Khan says:

    this is really Shocked me…!! this is amazing work.Good very good.Keep it up and more post your more amazing thinks.

  76. Hc says:

    One Rubix cube costs $10. That’s a $40,000 image of MLK without artistic value attached!

  77. Magical Art says:

    Wow, amazing!! Now, that is definitely true art! That must’ve taken a long as time to do!

  78. swervedrivin says:

    You have copied Space Invader’s idea here. Not very original but very anal! Well done!

  79. Auto Advertisement says:

    good art it’s amazing……….

  80. mojetrendy says:

    Reblogged this on Mojetrendy and commented:
    Nie pamiętam kiedy ostatnio grałem kostką Rubika?.

  81. othellojordan says:
  82. Antonyjon says:

    Reblogged this on How R U I am Antony Jon.

  83. rajbhadani2012 says:

    nice puzzle

  84. Siddhant Mishra (@SiddhantMishra_) says:

    Fabulous !!!

  85. Jenny says:

    This is an amazing piece of art!

  86. rkebbi says:

    4,000 Rubik’s Cubes to create this mosaic of Dr. Martin Luther King… This is just incredible !!!

  87. Sceko says:

    Great work

  88. Andy says:

    The Rubiks cube manufacturers must love this guy. He’s probably putting all their kids through college.

  89. Rachelle Lang says:

    This was AWESOME!!!!! Keep doing AMAZING things. Found this on “Stumble”.

  90. Antonios Patounis Phtography says:

    It is cool and very prototype , it reminds me some how the Byzantine mosaic of the Greek orthodox Churches . It is the same logic with the main difference that in a mosaic every piece it is added color by color but in this occasion the artist adds 6 colors every time in the whole picture which is actually very difficult technique.

    Without a Pc i don’t think he could manage to make it !

  91. David says:

    Mind Tingling

  92. Nitya15 says:


  93. harem6 says:

    Nice work

  94. fictionisreal says:

    WOW. The patience and the precision. Must cost a fortune to get one. But much respect to the time and effort spent on making this. AWESOME work

  95. apoorba sitoula says:

    whuuu thats cool man ……….. crazy:p

  96. urfie says:

    waaawww amazing….:D

  97. Meha Ahire says:

    Amazing Art.

  98. Mostafizur says:

    Awesome Art.Thanks…

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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