Laurence Jenkell, today known as JENK, was born in Bourges in 1965. Her artistic career, far from the traditional paths, is illustrated by its singularity. The requirements of a first marriage seemed to constrain her access to any creative process. Until the day when, in the secret of her kitchen, during a silent tête-à-tête with her domestic oven, she makes melted candy dough. This chance encounter is a rebirth. Stemming from old frustrations, deprivation and alienation, candies become the vector of her liberation.
As an autodidact, JENK will thus elaborate the concept of wrapping. This formal twist of the material is embodied as the formal expression of suffering. By its elaboration, the artist exorcises her demons. Neutralized by the sweetness of the subject, the candy becomes the allegory of a revenge. Formerly synonymous with frustration, it is now the materialization of her liberation. By means of her creation, the artist works at her reconstruction, at her own invention.
“The candy is inseparable from my work, it is and will remain my favorite subject, and the twist my source of inspiration”.
The irresistible smoothness of the syrupy color flows beguiles the viewer. Candor of the subject is responsible for charming and bewitching him. Through the materials used and the motif represented, the artist plays on his irrepressible desire to consume. Here, the sculpture materializes the desire. Captivated by the acidulous colors, the spectator reconnects with the sweetness of his childhood memories. The candy wrappings invoke a story as personal as it is universal. While questions of identity and the revelation of one’s deepest nature are at the heart of Laurence Jenkell’s production, the artist recently decided to change her signature in order to fully reclaim her identity. Jenkell becomes JENK.
Laurence JENK’s work is represented by numerous galleries and private, public and institutional collections. Her works are notably part of the collections of François Pinault, Martin Bouygues or Françoise Bettencourt. The wrappings invest many foundations such as Chanel and Gabarron. Her works are also part of the permanent collections of various museums such as the Calais Fine Arts Museum, the Coca Museum, the Copelouzos Family Art Museum in Athens or the Chambery Fine Arts Museum. Find her creations in our Marciano Contemporary galleries.
See the current show here
Laurence Jenk’s work was awarded the prestigious Medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on September 8, 2021, by Eric Ciotti.