Caitlin Clark Rubik’s Cube portrait, explained: Iowa student uses 720 cubes to create art of Hawkeyes star

The beauty of art is that in comes in all different forms — paintings, movies, sculptures, music compositions. All of it is some way for a person to express their creativity. 

When it comes to Caitlin Clark, her game is a work of art. From her 3-pointers from the logo, to her precision passing, to her smooth handles with the ball, watching her play the game of basketball is like watching a master painter create a beautiful piece of artwork. 

For an Iowa student, that art expression has come through Rubik’s Cubes. 

Brian Dang, a fourth-year dental student at the University of Iowa, has had the luxury of attending the school at the same time as Clark. Getting to watch one of the greatest women’s college basketball players of all time has left Dang “starstruck.”

Between his admiration of the Hawkeyes phenom and his love for three-dimensional art, Dang combined the two together, creating a miraculous portrait of Clark using just Rubik’s Cubes. 

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Here is more to know about the Clark Rubik’s Cube portrait. 

Caitlin Clark Rubik’s Cube portrait explained

Dang and his older brother grew up playing with trinkets such as Legos and Rubik’s Cubes, he said in an interview with the Iowa City Press-Citizen. After cutting his “solve time” to just minutes, Dang sought out a more challenging adventure.

That turned into using the Rubik’s Cubes to create artwork, and his latest masterpiece is an ode to Clark. 

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Dang’s portrait of Clark, which has the Iowa senior’s iconic pose of turning her ear to the crowd, consists of 720 Rubik’s Cubes. He first used an Excel spreadsheet to map out the colors before putting his vision to the test. 

“A Rubik’s Cube doesn’t give you many colors to work with,” Dang said. “So you really have to plan out how you want to make the picture pop out with all the contrast.”

Next came solving each Rubik’s Cube. While he mastered the puzzle in his younger years, Dang said that after working up some kinks, it was taking him a matter of seconds to get all of the colors aligned. 

“In the very beginning, solving one would take me about a good minute for each one,” Dang said. “But then, slowly, when I’m a little more warmed up, maybe 10 to 20 seconds.”

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Rubik’s Cubes aren’t exactly light, and when you have 720 of them, it adds up. Dang admitted that the portrait is “heavy”, estimating that it’s about “20 to 25 pounds or more.”

The project itself is not new. Dang completed his masterpiece when Clark broke the scoring record in early March, but was hesitant to reveal it due to concerns about the feedback he would receive, However, after it was brought up in conversation, he decided to unveil it to the world. 

“I made this when she broke the (scoring) record and I didn’t really mention it to anyone, just my roommate,” Dang said. “There’s one day I was in school, we were talking about the women’s basketball tournament and how well Caitlin Clark is doing, hoping she can actually win the title this year. And I was talking to one of the faculty in the clinic and I was showing them this picture and they’re like, ‘No way.’

It’s unclear whether or not Clark has seen the portrait of herself in Rubik’s Cube. She hasn’t made any comments on the piece of art, but regardless, it is a sensational way for Dang to bring in two parts of his life together. 

“To be able to combine another aspect of my life, with Rubik’s Cube and art, and portray (Caitlin Clark) through that is fun,” Dang said. “That’s what I love about it.”

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