Mario Mankey, a Valencia-born artist, creates large-scale installations and murals that feel at once comical and bleak. His recent installation at The Haus in Berlin, titled “Ego Erectus,” is indicative of this. The massive feet, which extend from the ceiling of the room, dwarf viewers and hint at an ever-present burden of humanity.
“Using the Mario Mankey name, I manifest the underlying contradictions between human and primate,” the artist says. “I work on human behaviours I find disturbing. I focus mainly on the eternal contradictions of the modern individual as a result of their ambitions and limitations. The aesthetic game is brought in as a way to introduce fun but also sarcasm. Thus, the works are addressed at a diverse, but also intimate audience, seeking to establish an artistic dialogue, be it arisen from a canvas, a street mural, a comic book or whichever new challenge brought in by this relationship.”
Mankey’s work often contains both abstract and figurative elements, a certain messiness telling of his pursuit of reflecting humanity. Even in his murals, the faces carried in his work appear as defeated clowns.