NYC is a natural resource filled with infinite surprises and skilled artists all over the place. Everywhere you look, you are exposed to the best-of-the-best creative minds that work toward discovery while battling couch critics and experts at every turn.
So today while in NYC, I was blessed to see one such amazing exhibition by the French artist, Laurence Jenkell at the 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal.
These works immediately catch your eye as giant fiberglass multi-colored candy beacons resting in various focal points inside and outside the terminal as well as in a dedicated open storefront with the artist’s featured pieces.
Reminscent of sculptures by Jeff Koons, Jenkell’s fiberglass works not only reflect on the surface of her creations, but also welcome internal reflection. Her large candy structures remind you of the DNA double-helix as well as a wordplay of “candy” and “figure.” Pinched and squeezed, wrapped and wrapt, the observer cannot help but wander along the artist’s 3 dimensional message. The choice of a seemingly harmless image: candy both beckons and lures as it explores and defines vague concepts that often escape our understanding. Familiar terms like “international” are newly defined and represented by Jenkell with appealing, shiny, pre-packaged, individually-wrapped national flags.
Further, Laurence Jenkell engages her audience with interactive pieces like her coffee percolator whose lid you can open and close. Her largest piece, a giant reflective “elephant” in the room reflects you as you reflect on it, walking around its circumference pondering its nipped midriff.
The artist even challenges the viewer to look with childlike curiosity at terms and events with new eyes. For example, her representation of the national tragedy 9/11 is at once memorialized, the familiar Twin Towers as national symbol re-created by arranging red, white and blue candies into two U.S. flags standing side by side. While there was nothing “sweet” about that event, the artist continues this explicitly New York theme with her candy version of the “Big Apple” moniker that has been bitten to its core. Once again, the artist is modifying the familiar to diminish and “candy” mold New York’s namesake into a new object: chewed and incomplete.
Finally, this artist is a gracious host. Not only is she offering her work to be viewed FREE of charge, but she also allows other artists some room to show their own. Namely, a fellow French artist, Georges Moqay and Jean-Francois. That is a class act.
In return, I’ve attached some helpful links to the artist’s website as well as some hashtags which the Laurence Jenkell is promoting on her Facebook page: #jenkell #exhibition #candies #artworks #soloshow #NYC #PABT #laurencejenkell #contemporaryart #usa #manhattan #timessquare
If you find yourself in New York this year, I encourage you to view this worthwhile artist exhibit!
Follow Laurence Jenkell on Facebook [@LaurenceJenkellArtisteSculpteur], Twitter [@LJenkelk] and Instagram [jenkell_official].