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Artist of the Week: Evan Jenkins

Name: Evan Jenkins
Occupation: Art Handler and Freelance Photographer/Assistant
Where you were born: Santa Monica, CA.
Where you live now: Chicago, IL.

the wild evan jenkins

What are you currently working on?

I’m always working on a million things at once. I work full time for an art handling company, do photo jobs at nights and on weekends and also play music both on my own and as a drummer for a band called Final Grin.  I’m totally scattered but work constantly, so generally concepts coagulate over time via many input sources. This idea of drawing inspiration from a variety of places (music, books, visual art, etc.) is essential to my personal process. Lately though I’ve been working on a series that started about a year ago in Los Angeles and focuses on aesthetic beauty that can unexpectedly arise on the surface of decaying automobiles.


What do you think there is too much of, and too little of?

For the most part, there are too many excuses and not enough examples of people really forging through to create something that is their own. You can always tell when someone has really worked to put themselves into something, even if you can’t identify exactly what characteristic gives you that idea. I always appreciate that. Also, There are too few “freaks”… genuine weirdos in the world. Concepts and works of art that are historically challenging usually become socially acceptable at some point down the road. It’s too easy to just like an old weird punk band or artist or writer for example. I think people need to work harder to channel their influences into something that ends up expressed in more idiosyncratic way. Otherwise we just end up with the same flaccid crap and it has no edge.

What’s your earliest memory  or experience of art?

I probably saw “art” when I was pretty young. I think my mom had a Monet book on the coffee table. But capital “A” Art really needs to awaken something emotional or intellectual in you to be meaningful, and I don’t think that happened until much later for me. Truthfully I think music that I discovered in middle school and high school, mostly punk and rock ‘n’ roll, helped me understand that aesthetics and contexts could be tampered with in order to create a unique experience for both the creator and the viewer. Iggy pop, Jim Morrison, The Velvet Underground… these were all cornerstone’s of my early education/ awareness of art.


What do you consider a fashion “faux-pas”?

I dont know… Crocs?

Where do you find your inspiration/influences?

In as many places as possible. I am usually reading something, looking for good records, researching a period in art history and just trying to keep my eyes and ears open in my day to day life. I like that an idea for a photograph can be inspired by a song lyric, yet a musical idea can just as well come from a visual or physical experience. There are strange and potentially inspiring moments imbued within every mundane minute. For example, at work I might be in the loading dock of a billionaire’s high rise and l’ll find myself marveling at the abstract beauty of built up oil stains on the filthy cement.

What are you obsessed with right now?

I’m pretty obsessed with adding to my record collection. Also, a lot of my friends and peers are incredibly talented and I’m enjoying watching them create interesting work and set new personal bests. So I think I’m obsessed with surrounding myself with not only music and visual art, but also people that will help me stay excited about new creative investigations.


How would you describe your work in 9 words?

“Anything is hard to find, when you will not open your eyes.” Sorry, I guess that’s 12 words.

If you were another person, place or thing, what/who would it be? 

Well, even the most genius and important people still end up having some negative quality. So I don’t know if I’d want to be anyone else. So I dunno… Maybe just a floating sea creature. Passing the time rolling along with the tide sounds acceptable to me.

What is your Wild Wish?

To be able to work less on other people’s endeavors and work more on my own! Also, if I get to the end of my life and feel content and humbled, I’ll be pretty happy with everything.


text by: Kate Messinger

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