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.


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


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.


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.’


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

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