Laurence Jenkell sculpts giant candies, exhibited around the world.
It is in the privacy of her living room facing the sea, right next to her studio in Vallauris, that contemporary art artist Laurence Jenk welcomes us. A living room filled with candy statues of all sizes and colors that the young woman has sculpted in recent years.
These giant sweets have already appeared in several cities on the Côte d’Azur, but also in Monaco, especially in front of the Monte-Carlo Bay, where you may have seen this 950 kilo white marble candy! ” I love Monaco, confides the artist. I feel good in Monaco, it’s a place where you feel good, where life is good, especially for collectors. I’m happy that [mon oeuvre] I found a beautiful setting. But I do not want Monaco to turn into a candy box, far from it! A candy is something to be savored … ”
My little classmates had candy for their birthday, while I was private at home.
A passion born out of frustration
Precisely, candies, Laurence Jenk dreamed of savoring them when she was little. But at the time, no question for his mother, concerned about his health, to give him some. ” I had my little classmates who had candy for their birthday, while I was totally deprived of it at home »Says Laurence Jenk.
A frustration that gradually turned into an obsession, then into creation. Without any artistic training, Laurence Jenk stops her work in communication to embark on creation, self-taught.
It is precisely with the candies of her daughters that Laurence created her first works, in the 2000s. The artist melts the sweets in her oven. ” I wanted to see what it will melt a candy in a four and I realized that it was very interesting to have these mixtures of colors, these smells… It was a real alchemy! I made “trap pictures”, where I imprisoned melted, colored, charred candies. (…) I then put them in transparent plexiglass boxes. ”
But, precisely, after several years of making, what to do with all these plexiglass scraps? Concerned about the environment, and always guided by her creativity and her imagination, Laurence Jenk collects these scraps and tries to recycle them, also putting them in an oven. Faced with this malleable material, the artist seeks the twist and, without realizing it, once again reproduces a candy. The famous sculptures were born.
Exhibitions in Monaco
From Paris, Hong-Kong, via New York, Dubai, London or Miami, Laurence Jenk’s sweets – unique pieces in plexiglass, bronze, aluminum or even Murano glass – travel to the four corners of the world. world. The artist is even ranked 430th in the top 1000 of international contemporary artists the most sold at auction in the last twenty years, according to the exceptional report ArtPrice 2020.
Decorated as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2019, then on September 8, in the presence of many members of the Monegasque Government, Laurence Jenk says she is very attached to the Principality. The artist has also described his artistic touch on numerous occasions.
Beyond the marble sculpture in front of the Monte-Carlo Bay, Laurence Jenk notably offered the Monegasque Red Cross a 1.90m work last July, on the occasion of the association’s first summer concert.
I haven’t come to the end of the candy story at all, I just can’t seem to get out of it!
The artist also had his own exhibitions in the Principality, notably in the Espace 22 gallery last spring. The sweets are popular and for the moment, no question for the artist to move on to another chosen one. ” I haven’t come to the end of the candy story at all, since it’s been almost 20 years and we’re still in it. I can’t get out of it! However, I tried to do other things and I do other things on the side, but it’s candy, it’s obsessive… It’s a sculpture that speaks to everyone and that challenges. And besides, there are plenty of people who do not know my works, I find that magnificent, precisely because that means that the subject is not finished at all, quite the contrary! This is just the beginning“, Confides Laurence.
Looking for a new workshop, ideally in the Principality, Laurence Jenk intends to redouble her creativity and propose new artistic collaborations. The artist even concludes with a mysterious smile: “ before the end of the year, Jenk will be back in Monaco. ”