Police burst into gallery after mistaking sculpture for dying woman

  • London police received a call on November 25 that a woman was unconscious in an art gallery.
  • After breaking down the door, they realized the woman was actually just a sculpture.
  • Mark Jenkins, the artist behind the piece, said people often mistake his sculptures for real people.

London police broke into a Soho art gallery thinking they were going to save a woman slumped on a table, only to find the woman was a work of art.

The London Metropolitan Police Authority confirmed the incident in a statement to Insider. Police received a call on the evening of Friday November 25 from a person concerned that a person, unconscious on a table, had been locked inside the Laz Emporium.

Twenty minutes later, police broke down the door to enter the gallery and discovered the woman was a sculpture.

“Hannah [Blakemore] who was working in the gallery that day had just closed and come up to make a cup of tea,” Steve Lazarides, a former Banksy agent and founder of Laz Emporium, said in a statement shared with Insider. “She came downstairs to find the door off its hinges and two confused policemen!”

The sculpture, titled “Kristina”, depicts a disheveled woman wearing a yellow hoodie and black tights, face down in a bowl of soup.

Blakemore told ArtNet News that the piece has already fooled observers. Emergency services had been called for ‘Kristina’ in October when she was on display at an interior design trade show known as Decorex.

The sculpture, commissioned by Lazarides, is meant to represent his sister, also named Kristina. The piece was created by American artist Mark Jenkins, known for his hyper-realistic human casts.

“I was wondering if the police were going to pay for the door,” Jenkins told Insider in an email when asked about his reactions to the news.

The realistic look of his art is achieved by creating casts of real people and placing them in sedentary positions, Jenkins said. The “Kristina” sculpture is made of duct tape and foam filler, according to the press release.

Jenkins said he has plenty of stories of people mistaking his art for real humans, but he’s never heard of anyone breaking into a private space because of his work, let alone. an art gallery.

As for what Jenkins hopes art lovers will take away from seeing “Kristina,” he said, “Mostly the holiday spirit.”

“Kristina” will be on display at the Laz Emporium until December 24

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