There’s something surreal about Mark Jenkins’ street sculptures – eerie, static humanoids placed in odd locations in major cities worldwide. Rome, Washington D.C., Baltimore, NYC, Rio De Janiero, Belgrade, London, Dublin, Moscow, Katowice, Tudela, Winston-Salem, Seoul, Royan, Bordeaux, Puerto del Rosario, Barcelona, Malmö…these are just a few of the many places you can find these installations.
Jenkins originally hails from Alexandria, Virginia, is currently living in Washington D.C. and has been mostly known for his street sculptures created from casts of his own body constructed with clear box sealing tape. Eventually, he started dressing the casts in order to make them more realistic and began referring to his sculptures as the “Glazed Paradise”.
The driving force behind his work is to be able to transform the street into a stage, where average pedestrians can become the actors in his world, including the authorities who have occasionally tried to intervene. Musing on the illegality of street art, he once said in an interview with known art critic Brian Sherwin, “There is opposition, and risk, but I think that just shows that street art is the sort of frontier where the leading edge really does have to chew through the ice. And it’s good for people to remember public space is a battleground, with the government, advertisers and artists all mixing and mashing, and even now the strange cross-pollination taking place as street artists sometimes become brands, and brands camouflaging as street art creating complex hybrids or impersonators. I think it’s understanding the strangeness of the playing field where you’ll realize that painting street artists, writers, as the bad guys is a shallow view. As for the old bronzes, I really don’t see them as part of what’s going on in the dialogue unless addressed by a new intervention.”
To check out more of his installation work, visit his website.
To see more of Jenkins’ Glazed Paradise transposed into surreal environments, visit glazedparadise.com.