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Provocative art about looking the other way

Recently, an incident in London made headlines in the art world.

Police were called to a gallery to assist a woman who appeared to be slumped over at a table with her head down for over two hours.

Upon arriving, the officers discovered that the woman was actually a life-sized sculpture by American artist Mark Jenkins.

Known for his provocative and eye-catching street art installations, Jenkins' work can be both amusing and surreal, but also quietly disturbing at times.

His sculptures are so lifelike that it can be difficult to distinguish them from real humans, as he intentionally omits facial features and conveys meaning through body language and context.

Jenkins' art often elicits interesting responses from the public, and he has filmed people's reactions to his installations. In one piece called "The Sitter," a sculpture of a young homeless man sitting on a pavement begging prompted reflections on the issue of homelessness and the psychology behind why some people choose to help while others ignore those in need.

In a 2019 interview, Jenkins spoke about the philosophy behind his work.

Mark Walmsley FRSA AGSM

Chief Culture Vulture

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