Mark Jenkins is a sculptor and installation artist whose work focuses on a variety of urban and social themes, re-defining the limits of sculpture both in the public sphere, where many of his pieces have been found, to the more intimate realm of the “White Cube.” The foundation of his artwork is in the artist’s specific technique, casting objects as well as his own body (and those of others) using conventional packing tape and plastic wrap. Encompassing the actual form of these subjects with his method, he has materialized a range of characters, from translucent ducks, dogs and babies, to his most well-known clothed hyper-realistic figures.
His sculptures capture moments that conjure their own realities, presenting tableaus that challenge one’s sense of what is real and what is not. Jenkins constructs his people, animals, children – entities commonly filled with life – into inanimate objects, frozen in bizarre postures and scenarios. By creating these unconventional situations, he re-contextualizes commonplace ideas or things and inserts them into a new landscape in which the viewer plays an integral part.
Jenkins’ sculptures, whether placed in the street or in the gallery, alter perceptions of the ordinary and create surreal settings that infallibly elicit an alternative experience. The placement of his artwork always creates a new form of discourse central to space and audience. For the pieces he situates in the urban environment, the artist intentionally leaves the sculptures unattended to fulfill their life cycles to whatever end, may it be natural deterioration or confiscation. The viewer’s reaction to his pieces becomes part of the sculptures, turning the street into a stage. The theatricality of Mark Jenkins’ work remains a central theme, and in this solo exhibition he uses the gallery space as the performance platform, incorporating the viewers not only as spectators but as actors themselves.
Most recently Mark Jenkins’ work has been shown in London, Sao Paulo, Paris, Los Angeles, the Glastonbury Festival and in Cologne, Germany. Additionally, the artist has participated in numerous public art events as well as various international art fairs. Fabien Castanier Gallery has exhibited Jenkins work at art fairs including Scope New York, Art Wynwood Miami and Context Art Miami. Jenkins also teaches his sculpture techniques and installation practices through workshops and masters classes internationally. He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C.