Mark Jenkins is an American artist who has come up with an artistic way to creep people out by placing realistic looking mannequins in cities all over the world. The artist calls these installations The Urban Theater. He arranges the mannequins in lifelike and provocative poses often making the viewer question reality.
Mark did his first street art installation back in 2003 when he placed a figure in a refuse dump in Rio de Janeiro. He wanted to draw attention to the rising problem of homeless children on the streets. Eventually, the project grew and some of the artist’s works were featured in venues like Lazarides Galleries and Kunsthalle Wien.
In an interview with Reuters, the artist said themes of his installations are rather dark. “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,” said Mark.
When asked why he does the installations, the artist said he likes making people question their surroundings and ask what is real and what is not. “These days, people are so buried in their mobile phones and I just wanted to get them to look up. 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,” explained the artist.
Check out Mark’s amazing installations in the gallery below!