Mark Jenkins

Aug 23, 2012

Looking back to the start of his career, American street artist Mark Jenkins puts it all down to luck. He was messing around with packaging tape when he accidentally discovered its potential as a sculpting material. His first life-sized figure made from tape was installed on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. That was nearly ten years ago. Today, Jenkins’s tape sculptures appear in cities all over the world. While the 42-year-old still makes his human figures out of packaging tape, he now dresses them in clothes as well, giving the sculptures a more hyper-realistic look.

Jenkins, who studied science, sees his work not just as art, but also as a social experiment. Once  his figures are installed on the streets, they develop an independent existence that he then monitors with interest. The figures push our sense of irony and humor up another level; more than just  figures, they question everything around them – accepted realities, norms and conventions. “If the city was a body, my works were like herpes,” said Jenkins. “The body attacks itself.”

We met up with Jenkins in Paris, where he just finished a project. We discussed everything from his early work to his latest sculptures, which resemble pelagic deposits.

Read the full interview in the printed issue of Wertical.

Release: 2014.

Reserve an issue by sending an email to: