The Urban Theatre

A mother hurrying to help a crying child and a man rushing into a river to rescue a floating body; not screenshots of Holby City, but photographs of reactions to the street art of Mark Jenkins, captured in his first book.

Using packing tape and sometimes himself as a cast, the US-born artist creates lifesize human and animal forms and installs them in urban and natural spaces, attempting to provoke reaction.

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He sees such reactions as part of the artwork itself, ‘making the street a stage’ and giving his characters ‘their own lifecycle’.

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At 83 pages, his book The Urban Theater documents public reactions to works installed in cities across America, Asia and Europe since 2005. It took several months to put together and is a book of dynamic photographs supported by few words and a lot of creative white space.

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Editor, Floyd Schulze designed the layout of the book. He says, ‘I based the layout on the vision of Mark Jenkins himself. Mark wanted little text for the book and a minimal layout to really put the focus on his images.’

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The Urban Theater by Mark Jenkins is priced at £35.80, is published by Gestalten on 19 January and is available from www.gestalten.com

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