The art of tape


Fairfax, VA. January 2005

Thanks to the Cabinet of Wonders I recently learned of American street artist Mark Jenkins. According to Wikipedia:

Mark Jenkins (b. 1970) is an American artist most widely known for the street installations he creates using packing tape. His work has been featured in various newspapers and magazines including Time Out: New York, The Washington Post, The Independent, the book Hidden Track: How Visual Culture is Going Places, and on the street art blog Wooster Collective. He has shown indoors in galleries in the U.S., Europe and Brazil and is represented by Lazarides gallery in London. He maintains the website and teaches his tape casting process in workshops in the cities he visits.


Appropriately enough, the artist is profiled in ASI Magazine, the periodical of the Adhesives & Sealants Industry. In an August 2007 article entitled Tape Artist, Teresa McPherson discusses the artist’s sculptures made of (what else?) tape.

Jenkins’ work can be found on the streets of New York City, Baltimore and throughout the world. He has been formally exhibiting his work overseas, and when there’s time, he displays work in cities he travels to. Once the pieces are placed, a variety of things can happen to them. Some get “adopted” by passersby; others are picked up by city workers. Either way, they get a reaction from the people who see them. “People are quick to come up and ask what I’m up to,” Jenkins says. “They want to know what the works are made of and how many rolls of tape it takes to make a tape man.” Jenkins says he favors a packing tape from 3M called “super strength” to cast his pieces. “It makes sturdy clear casts and I work with this type of tape for most of my projects.”

Jenkins’ work is labeled street art since it’s exhibited in public spaces. The term public art also applies.    


Tape sculpture, Call Waiting

And while I’m not a big fan of graffiti and many forms of street or public art, the products of humankind’s infinite creative potential are always entertaining.  Check out Jenkins’ website and learn how tape is used as a sculptural medium all around the world. To quote Marc Schiller, the founder of Wooster Collective:

[I]t’s a great time to be creative in general. Creativity is so accessible now. On the street and off, on the Web, the barriers to being creative have never been lower.” 

Related links:

High-Tech Graffiti: Spray Paint Is So 20th Centuryby Geeta Dayal, The New York Times, June 25, 2006 (source of Mark Schiller quotation)

Mark Jenkins Street Installations

Wooster Collective (a digital gallery and as clearinghouse for street art on an international level)

A tape casting tutorial.


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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Media Districts Entertainment Blog » The art of tape
  2. camden ball
    Jan 04, 2008 @ 09:48:22

    I read about your sculptures in ripleys believe it or not and i really like them. I was wondering if you could email our email address indecated under mail there are no caps or spaces. well hope you get this letter and maybe if i figure out how to make the plastic wrap figures i’ll put them up all over L.A


  3. madsilence
    Jan 04, 2008 @ 10:16:31

    camden ball:
    Follow the link to the tape art tutorial:
    It tells it all.


  4. Trackback: Tape Art Redux: the Aesthetics of Tape « MadSilence
  5. Trackback: Sticking to it « MadSilence

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