You would have probably seen so many wonderful arts and crafts done by humans. They depict so many beautiful things and would have looked incredible! But have you ever come across with a mannequin? If you have been startled by paintings and crafts, then there is no doubt that mannequins will give you a shock.
American artist Mark Jenkins is a king of mannequins and there is no doubt that most of the mannequins that you happened to see on the internet are his creations. All these faceless figures popping up in streets are meant to challenge the viewer to question the reality of the things they daily experience. He calls them an urban theatre and they have now become multi-layered performance art.
He has a monograph called ‘The Urban Theatre’ and book “documents a broad spectrum of his compelling, often disturbing street installations,” as well as viewers’ spontaneous responses and interactions with his interventions.
He has begun his career back in 2003 and his first sculpture was placed in a refuse dump in Rio de Janeiro to draw attention to the destiny of homeless children living in streets. The mannequin grabbed a lot of attention and since then, his works have even been exhibited in venues such as Lazarides Galleries and the Kunsthalle Wien and in many other public funded cities around the world.
Speaking about the subjects of his art, he told that “The ongoing theme of the artist’s work tends to veer towards dark subjects. They often tend to be marginalized individuals, sometimes in lonely states, so it’s poetic but also dark. For example, the guy in the river is holding a bunch of colored balloons that are almost trying to magically lift him out. There’s always an undercurrent of hope.
“I like getting people to question their surroundings, what is real and what isn’t. These days, people are so buried in their mobile phones and I just wanted to get them to look up,” he said, “So at the beginning, I was collecting social data about people’s reactions. But six years later, these images are more about poetry, of capturing a magical moment.”