Nothing in Mark Jenkins’s early life pointed to a career in art. The science graduate only became an artist after messing around with packaging tape and discovering its potential as a sculpting material. He created his first life-sized figure made from tape ten years ago and displayed it on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Even then, his sculptures of men, women, babies and animals looked realistic. Since then, Jenkins has made them look even more life-like, by dressing them in second-hand clothes.
Jenkins’s figures have added to street life in cities all around the world. They shift our sense of irony and humor and question their surroundings, too - its accepted realities, norms and conventions. As Jenkins once explained, “If the city was a body, my artworks were like herpes - the body attacks itself."
Between September 13 and 30, Mark Jenkins’s work was exhibited at Ruttkowski;68 contemporary art gallery in Cologne, Germany. The show "Holding Cell" ran for only three weeks. It is the gallery’s first surprise exhibition of the year, on the occasion of Vienna’s contemporary Black River Festival ( http://blkriver.at/12/ ). Jenkins’s best-known figures were on display, as well as a new sculpture made exclusively for the exhibition. There were also photos and collages that showcased the artist’s versatility.