The Harder They Come

Mark Jenkins solo exhibition
March 26 – April 23, 2022

Fabien Castanier Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition for American artist Mark Jenkins. The Harder They Come is on view March 26 through April 23, beginning with an opening reception with the artist on Saturday March 26th. This is the third solo exhibition for Mark Jenkins at the Castanier Gallery, featuring a new collection of his signature sculptures and installations.

Mark Jenkins’ sculptures continue to confront viewers with reality-bending immersion that for this exhibition shines a spotlight on the struggles of oppression and societal imbalance within the current global political climate. Tableaus that are at times imaginatively witty or dark and poignant, reflect a deeper understanding of the theatricality of life. The artist creates these hyper-realistic figures from casting the bodies of real people, more often than not from himself. By taking the realism of a life-size human sculpture and adorning it with absurdity, Jenkins exhibits an exploration of the surreal. The viewer’s reaction to the sculptures become part of the pieces – as the artist seeks to envelop the audience within the installation, holding a mirror up to the complexities of human connection and the collective unrest born from oppressive circumstances.

Currently based out of Richmond, VA, Jenkins has spent the last decade bringing his artwork to a variety of important and notable global spaces. Beginning in 2017 he collaborated with Balenciaga, creating sculptures wearing the fashion house’s garments. Several projects with Balenciaga brought Jenkins’ sculptures to New York, Paris, and London. In 2018, he conceptualized a power art installation, where 84 life-size figures were placed standing on the roof of the ITV buildings in Southbank London. Entitled “Project84” the installation aimed to bring awareness to the prevalence of male suicide in the U.K. In 2019, Jenkins participated in the Rose Béton biennale/art festival held in Toulouse France, where he installed a number of sculptures in the public space. The same year, the city of Laguna Beach (CA) commissioned five of his figures for placement in front of their City Hall. Entitled “The Caretakers”, the sculptures were occupied with absurd activities, such as vacuuming the lawn.

Jenkins sculptures are at home both within the gallery space as well as in the urban landscape. Their presence often defies logic and by pushing the boundaries of immersive installation, he continues to re-define the limits of the consumer’s relationship to the art and the artist.

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