Jenkins creates sculptures, installations and performative work, whose humor and social resonance stem from a unique understanding of materials. While growing up in Tennessee, the artist’s household was filled with collections of antique tools and bric-a-brac. Fascinated in the psychology of these found objects, Jenkins began exploring the histories behind certain forms, in addition to the many ways he could manipulate and build upon their inherent meanings.
“Everything Must Go” celebrates the breakdown of objects and ideals that suggest value and societal importance. Focusing on items such as trophies, commemorative tableware and fishing lures, Jenkins dismantles the object’s original function and establishes a new sense of space and collective significance. The artist’s work is saturated with humor, allowing his complex subject matter to take on a more accessible form. His “Trophy” series consists of ten awards, each a Frankenstein-blend of appropriated trophies that play with various ideas of hierarchy and social turbulence. One piece depicts a golden man waving from a pedestal as he’s being pushed from the top of the trophy by a swarming crowd of small golden figures. Another portion of the show incorporates dozens of gathered porcelain plates, tea cups and figurines. Each hanging component is made of up different shattered pieces that have repeatedly been broken and fixed back into form. This cyclical process of destruction and formation is built into the artist’s work, allowing notions of value to decay and transform.
Every facet of the exhibition represents something treasured that must go. Jenkins urges his viewers to reflect on what is meant to be held or treasured and what is meant to stay in motion.