Laurence Jenk VS Jenkell « The BONBON »
Laurence, you are an international artist, whose work is displayed all over the world. Would you tell us why your works are in the form of sweets?
Indeed, my pieces are exhibited all over the world, having been deprived of sweets as a child, I felt the need to create a candy piece to compensate for my childhood frustrations. The candy imposed itself on me: I am self-taught, and I started by working with candies on canvas. I would heat real candy in a kitchen oven and create my works on canvas with the candy that had become mouldable once cooked. Most importantly, I would fix the material with epoxy resins or fillers. Afterwards I made transparent Plexiglas boxes to protect my works.
After a few years, I had a lot of Plexiglas scraps in the workshop. Rather than throwing it out, I decided to recycle the material: I put it in an oven to see how it reacted to high temperatures. The Plexiglas became more flexible, and I was able to experiment with it and the shape of the candy imposed itself on me. The subject of candy is a subject that appeals to all types of people, ages as well as nationalities, and I thought it would be interesting to work with it in different formats and in various sizes
The materials you prefer to work with, and why?
My favourite material is undoubtedly Plexiglas for its brilliance, which highlights the torsion that has become my signature. And of course, I have a fondness for noble materials such as bronze and especially marble.
What is the work that you appreciate the most, where is it now?
I find it very difficult to answer this question because I am very fond of all my works which are an integral part of me; each time there is a bit of my DNA in each of my creations, but to answer your question, my preference would perhaps lie with my first sculpture, a 2.20m long chromo-réglisse, a piece which will remain in my private collection forever because it is too fragile to be sold. This piece demanded a lot of thought and technical work to shape the black and white Plexiglas strips that are wrapped around the metal structure. This piece has a real elegance and a couture feel, a tribute to Coco Chanel.
You did a “Bonbon Jenk Challenge”–draw your imaginary candy– can you tell us a little bit about this project?
This Bonbon Jenk Challenge contest turned out to be a huge success. The idea was to draw your own fantasy candy and post the picture on social media. The contest lasted 8 weeks, and at the end of each week I chose a winner. At the end of the two-month competition, the public voted for the best three spots on the podium, between the eight winners I had chosen. The winner of the first-place drawing won a red collector’s candy, a unique 23 cm piece. I even received drawings from collectors who had a passion for the drawing and had drawn their imaginary sweets. Everyone could participate, there was no age limit, and above all no artistic limit; all you needed was a pencil and paper and to let your imagination run free and trust your hidden talents. As I always say, “we are all artists in some way”.
Soon there will be a new competition, shared on social media, which will also allow those who wish to participate to do so. This challenge will be a tribute to the “Candy Nations” exhibition created in May 2011 in Cannes for the G20. We will reveal all the details and the rules of the game on social networks in due course, so stay tuned!
What do you like to do besides being an artist?
I’m an avid epicurean, I like to cook, eat, travel, exercise especially water-skiing and yoga. I like to discover new countries, new cultures and also new artists!
What are your future projects (Pop Up Gallery JENK in Monaco……).
The JENK Pop Up Gallery exhibition ends on June 7th but my works will still be present in the Principality, from May 18th at the thermal baths of Monaco for a period of 3 months, a sculpture in white Carrara marble measuring 2m20 in the gardens of the Petite Afrique and also works presented for the Grand Prix in Monaco.
But also other exhibitions in emblematic places like Antibes, Juan Les Pins, Cannes and St Tropez, and other projects abroad which are not yet confirmed considering the current health crisis.
The motto of your life.
BE HAPPY always…
Your artistic dream.
My artistic dream is of course to be able to express myself, to share my creations, to bring happiness to my collectors and to introduce a new audience to contemporary art in general, and maybe to start a collection with JENK candy.