• I wanted to bring chaos into people's daily routine, generate tension, and see their reactions. I wanted passers-by to lift their heads off their mobiles and reconnect with real life."

    – Mark Jenkins

    Four years after his first solo exhibition at the gallery, Mark Jenkins is back with "Outsiders", from December 3 to January 14 at Danysz Paris - Marais. The American artist invites us into his world populated by characters of a striking realism: works that are captivating, intriguing and always provoke strong reactions. Indeed, Jenkins' hyper realistic installations have the ability to sow doubt between fiction and reality through the interaction of his art and the public, the essence of the artist's work.



  • Mark Jenkins, Outsiders Exhibition view - Danysz Paris, 2022
  • I was living in Rio de Janeiro in 2003 and was messing around with a roll of tape and figured out a way to use it to cast objects, including myself. And this is how I became a sculptor. From there I began placing casts of myself around the city and doing unsanctioned street installations.

    – Mark Jenkins

    Mark Jenkins, Flag, 2022 - Sculpture, clothing - 70 x 70 x 193 cm 


    Through the exhibition "Outsiders", Jenkins gives shape to his sculptures whose attitude and movement never cease to amaze by their genuine humanization, thus breaking the monotony of daily life. He presents his unexpected sculptures, which are the source of his international reputation: life-size silhouettes camouflaged under their hoods, which he dresses in ordinary clothes. Sitting, standing, lying down, hanging, these characters are at the center of striking scenes taking place in the Parisian space of the Danysz Gallery.
    Since the early 2000s, Mark Jenkins has been creating realistic human sculptures that he installs in public spaces. Anonymous figures of men and women, often lonely, put in unusual places or positions that inevitably attract attention. “Not giving them a facial identity allows me to represent more than an individual. So they have a wider spectrum and a symbolical effect,” explains Mark Jenkins.
    They seem to tell of their difference, the fact they are not being part of a group and their difficulty to find their place in our society. If these characters fit into our daily environment, it is in fact to better stand out by engaging in activities where the absurd competes with black humor. Offbeat rituals that distort norms and subvert our usual codes in broad daylight and in full view of everyone.
    • Mark Jenkins Holy Bible of War Cinema, 2021 Sculpture, clothing, accessories 91 x 73 x 142 cm 35 7/8 x 28 3/4 x 55 7/8 in
      Mark Jenkins
      Holy Bible of War Cinema, 2021
      Sculpture, clothing, accessories
      91 x 73 x 142 cm
      35 7/8 x 28 3/4 x 55 7/8 in
    • Mark Jenkins Seated Mole, 2016 Sculpture, clothing, accessories 125 x 70 x 80 cm 49 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 31 1/2 in
      Mark Jenkins
      Seated Mole, 2016
      Sculpture, clothing, accessories
      125 x 70 x 80 cm
      49 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 31 1/2 in
    • Mark Jenkins Jump Fido, 2021 Sculpture, clothing, accessories 185 x 73 x 60 cm 72 7/8 x 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in
      Mark Jenkins
      Jump Fido, 2021
      Sculpture, clothing, accessories
      185 x 73 x 60 cm
      72 7/8 x 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in
    • Mark Jenkins Archway, 2022 Sculpture, clothing 188 x 70 x 30 cm 74 x 27 1/2 x 12 in
      Mark Jenkins
      Archway, 2022
      Sculpture, clothing
      188 x 70 x 30 cm
      74 x 27 1/2 x 12 in

    Mark Jenkins, Swing, 2022 - Sculpture, wig, clothing, accessories - 130 x 58 x 65 cm


    One could merely see Mark Jenkins' characters as anti-conformists or misfits, as losers. They should rather be considered as outsiders to be reckoned with because they are capable of causing a surprise. It's all a question of point of view and of the meaning one wants to give to the word success. In the end, and despite appearances, it is perhaps these outsiders who could be the real winners of the so-called the "rat race", a metaphor for the fierce competition in which modern man is engaged.
    These outsiders, as strange as they are strangers, are silent witnesses living at our edges and provoking us by bringing out the irrational and another way of being to the world. They invite us to stop, to pause and to question ourselves on the meaning of things. Isn't this frantic race a headlong rush? What is normal? What is a city? What if isolation was a luxury, as the artist suggested in the title of one of his works? What if real life was elsewhere?
  • Mark Jenkins, Billboard, 2022 - Sculpture, wig, clothing - 30 x 50 x 174 cm
  • The most basic idea is to subvert reality by copying it, and then altering it. The effect warps the city fabric causing passersby to enter onto it as if it is a stage.” – Mark Jenkins

    Mark Jenkins, Seated Mole, 2016 - Sculpture, clothing, accessories - 125 x 70 x 80 cm 


    Jenkins' sculptures are both theatrical and logic-defying, each piece mimicking life to the point where it becomes real and disconcerting. To play with the most common reality, that of the street, by reappropriating it, to make enter unknowingly the common pedestrian, somewhere on his way in a zone of art: this reconfiguration of the anodyne is inseparable from the ambitions and practices of street art, from graffiti to tag. But Jenkins goes one step further, that of figuration taken to its highest point: the reproduction in volume, to scale, of bodies.
    Jenkins, who draws his inspiration from the late figurative sculptor Juan Muñoz and Albert Camus' thoughts on the absurd, is first and foremost a realist. If only because his favorite material belongs to the most basic reality: simple rolls of tape. It is the adhesive that, at the end of a swaddling process, whose stages Jenkins describes, will form the outer shell, the envelope of the bodies of his characters. A very concrete medium, even sticky, but available to all, that he innovates by propelling it onto the artistic scene.
  • These days, most people don’t even see their surroundings. But those who do for whatever reason, become the performance.

    And they become for me, the art.”
    - Mark Jenkins

  • Social Experience of the alteration of reality
    Mark Jenkins, Archway, 2022 - Sculpture, clothing - 188 x 70 x 30 cm

    Social Experience of the alteration of reality

    The artist’s installations blur the lines between art and life. His sculptures often interact with their surroundings. It might also be observed that Jenkins is deeply interested in the viewer’s reaction as they see his work and he considers his work as much as a social experiment, as an art project. Jenkins shares: "I create a social experience first. I could be a sociologist. I think I'm exploring something that is beyond street art. It's another experience."
    For the artist, these powerful and unusual stagings constitute above all a "social experience of the alteration of reality". An experience that he documents by photographing the reactions of people who discover his installations. From then on, the witnesses are no longer mere spectators but actors participating in the installation: whether they are passers-by, pigeons, firefighters... all are now an integral part of the installations.
    The realism of the bodies, paired with the implausibility of the situations, thus brings together in the heart of the city and in the eyes of all, the banal and the extraordinary. Faced with these human clones who break free from the norms, the intrigued passer-by hesitates between amusement and amazement, between a rational or magical explanation of the situation. It creates a rupture in the usual routine: everyday life loses its reassuring aspect and becomes a place of all possibilities.
  • Public interaction
    Mark Jenkins, Step up, 2022 - Sculpture, wig, clothing - Copyright: Stéphane Bisseuil

    Public interaction

    For me, a work of art must first and foremost be a question." A question Mark Jenkins likes to ask passers-by by staging his sculptures in public spaces. With him, the street is never approached only as a place of exhibition but also always as a space allowing to stage events. Indeed, public space plays a major role in Mark Jenkins' work. It is here that his sculptures interact with passers-by, transforming the street into a stage that makes them not only viewers but also actors. In this urban theater, people's reactions become subjects of study and experiments that the artist enjoys conducting. It is all about introducing a foreign body, both literally and figuratively, into the place (whether it is the street, a gallery or a museum) in order to better scrutinize the reaction of the social body to this disturbing element.
    It is a bit like a play. The world is a stage, as Shakespeare said. My sociology background gave me a scientific approach of phenomena. I collect data from the environments where I decide to make my interventions. I can be the behavior of a dog, a pigeon, a child, a parent or a police officer. They all reveal how society reacts in general, both on an individual and institutional level. When my sculptures are in busy places, with people walking around, after only 15 minutes it becomes a performance.” – Mark Jenkins


    Mark Jenkins' first project, entitled "Tape Men", was created in 2003 in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Washington D.C. The artist then stages his human silhouettes made of adhesive tape in the urban environment. Jenkins became the inventor of a technique that allows him to reproduce the very realistic appearance of the human body. The artist, who employs a variety of techniques, also expressing himself on canvas or paper, develops his own molding technique with adhesive tape and plastic film. The actual molding process usually uses his own body or that of Sandra Fernandez, with whom he has collaborated for many years. They continually clone themselves in a very personal exercise before integrating the sculptures into a public space or the exhibition space.
    "The human sculptures of Mark Jenkins disturb the public order, inserting themselves into the well-oiled routine of the daily routine, sometimes even going to the point of creating panic. With his collaborator Sandra Fernandez, they take as a model their own body that they mold with adhesive tapes in several steps before assembling each part to form a sculpture that exposes itself in a strange posture, even absurd when it is not disturbing. Humor and irony run through this contextual art that shows its will to go beyond to be part of a sociological approach."
    - Emmanuelle Dreyfus, Journalist
  • "I have always loved art. Museums have given me a sense of the 'sacred', like the Catholic Church, but with even more power. Art is my pagan religion."
    - Mark Jenkins

  • Mark Jenkins was born in 1970 in Fairfax, he lives and works in Washington DC. His artworks have been presented...

    Mark Jenkins was born in 1970 in Fairfax, he lives and works in Washington DC. His artworks have been presented all over the world: United States, Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Russia, South Korea, Serbia, Japan. His work has been exhibited in museum institutions such as the Kunsthalle Wien (Austria), the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (Russia), the Centre Pompidou (France), or the Beirut Art Center (Lebanon).

  • Stay tuned for more!

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