Robber Baron by Studio Job


Design Miami 07: Studio Job present new pieces from their Robber Baron series at Moss during Design Miami.

The five monumental pieces, cast in bronze, combine stylised elements from famous landmarks around the world and represent industrial power, wealth and corruption.

Details from Moss follow:


Robber Baron
tales of power, corruption, art, and industry, cast in bronze
by Studio Job

Conceived in 2006, Robber Baron is an important suite of five cast-bronze furnishings, consisting of a Cabinet, Mantel Clock, Table, Standing Lamp, and Jewel Safe, each to be offered in a limited edition of five, exclusive to Moss.

Magnificent in scale, exceptionally finely modeled, detailed, and cast, with precision mechanical movements where required, incorporating deeply carved iconographic reliefs, with areas highly polished, gilded, or patinated, these works are guild-like in their master craftsmanship.

Their mirror finish reflecting the outrageous excesses of America's 19th century tycoons and Russia's new oligarchs, these surreal, highly-expressive furnishings, each a complex composition of multiple visual elements depicting a narrative - much like a cathedral's stained glass windows or its majestic bronze front doors - represent an interior belonging to a powerful industrial leader or his heirs. With clouds of pollution belching from towering smoke stacks, and missiles, falcons, gas masks, warplanes, and wrenches adorning golden surfaces, Robber Baron celebrates and shames both Art and Industry.

A polished bronze cabinet with black patinated “bomb crater” and gilded reliefs, inspired by a 17th century armoire by André-Charles Boulle, in the Wallace Collection, London. The heavy doors are fully functional because of a ball bearing mechanism.

polished, patinated and gilded cast bronze
approximate dimensions: 46” x 20”, height 69”
approximate weight: 2,200 lbs.

Jewel Safe
A patined bronze ‘safe’ with a ‘Jack-in-the-Box’ popping up out of the craggy top. The polished bronze head is colored with oil-based pigments, highlighting the collar, nose and other features. The lock mechanism is operated by turning the clown’s nose, and the door hinge employs a ball bearing mechanism.

polished, patinated and painted cast bronze
approximate dimensions: 20” x 20”; height 48”
approximate weight: 550 lbs.

Mantel Clock
A patinated bronze pedestal clock supported by gilded oil barrels atop a model of the Florentine Galleria degli Uffizi, with Robber Baron reliefs. The dial of the clock is inspired by London’s Big Ben, circled by a futile railway running endless circles on a rocky land-scape. The clock face can be shut with cast bronze stable doors. On top of the clock sits a Neo-Classical ‘dream house’, partially shrouded by a cloud.

polished, patinated and gilded cast bronze; mechanical clockwork
approximate dimensions: 26” x 20”, height 42”
approximate weight: 550 lbs.

Standing Lamp
A patinated bronze floor lamp in which three important icons of architecture – the Parthenon, the Empire State Building and Saint Peter’s Basilica - merge into one. The Zeppelin docked at the pinnacle symbolizes technological failure, and references the Empire State Building, whose top spire was originally intended as a mooring for Zeppelin airships. When illuminated, the hundreds of windows glow, diffused by a hand-blown frosted glass interior. The light bulbs can be changed by lifting the polished bronze ‘cloud’.

polished and patinated cast bronze; glass; electrical components
approximate dimensions: 24” x 20”, height 63”
approximate weight: 990 lbs

A patinated bronze "factory", whose architecture is derived from interpretations of various early 20th century works, including the AEG factory of Peter Behrens and the Battersea Power Station in London. The four chimneys produce a "polluted cloud" of polished bronze, which becomes the open-work tabletop.

polished and patinated cast bronze
approximate dimensions: 72” x 36”, height 30”
approximate weight: 770 lbs

Posted on Sunday December 9th 2007 at 4:37 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • thecuteone

    what a horrible pollution that stuff is

  • Nuno

    I love Studio Job! Excellent work… as always.

  • Andrew

    Studio Job’s work always fascinates me… on the one hand, I would never want any of this stuff to own, to have in a room or anything, but there’s something about all their stuff that I love.. it’s very tongue-in-cheek, and quirky, but still well proportioned and all.

    I dunno, I LOVE the table, but the thought of owning anything remotely like it horrifies me… and in turn makes me appreciate their work even more, that it can both attract and repulse me.

  • xtiaan

    how can you not like this, it works on so many levels, its sculpture not just design, Id give my right nut to have any of these pieces and would love an oppourtunity to live with any and all of em!

  • Nuno

    I really dig this, yet I don’t really consider it design… like xtiann said, it’s more like a sculpture.

  • Ren

    I hate this ongoing blur between art and design, for me this is strong topical art using furniture and everyday objects as a medium.

  • Brian

    To say one would, or would not want to live with this work is like saying one would, or would not like to live with a Donald Judd chair. The fact that these objects take the form of “furniture” is irrelevant. They should be judged solely on their aesthetic and symbolic merits.

    I find it fascinating and timely.

  • Razif

    i love the table.
    might use it for ping pong.

  • JACK

    Amazing in every way, congradulations Studio Job and Moss!!! A++

  • Will

    i like the table. The rest is pretentious c**p

    • Jake

      that's the entire point, it's an attack on the neoliberal ideas that allow those with power and money to exploit their position. The objects and the materials represent the social elite using baroque style furniture, while the use of images of war and global warming to decorate them show how the owners of such pieces may have accumulated their wealth…

  • Wow, this is amazing stuff. Timely, poignant and extremely communicative.
    I totally agree with Brian and Ren, although one must at some point weigh the creators agenda with an interpretation of the piece…

  • Cuphate

    The table is incredible. The rest is a tad overboard. But that one piece can compensate for the lot, easily.

  • Ren

    “pretentious c**p” compared to what Will ?

  • Bendy

    Wow… love these works. Had I millions, I would happily drop it on these. Sick of these messages though… I’m tired of being preached to.

    Stunning pieces, but tarnished by the commentary.

  • telyawot

    truly tripped out art. somehow it seems to describe the times.
    do they sculpt this themselves or farm it out?

  • maboica

    The whole set was sold to one collector for 750k at Design Miami.
    *The table is amazing BTW.

  • mekaratta

    How rediculous people try to distinguish art and design, their works totally awesome!

  • rakje

    the unbearable emptyness of being

  • miami

    really nice i do like all this stuff, i will like to have them in my house who
    wanna help me to contact studio job thank you

  • Aleksandra

    I hope its not too expensive…

  • Piper Maxwell

    Huge HUGE fan.

    ure, some of their designs don’t work for me. But experimental concepts and processes are a matter of trail and error. Regardless of the designer, it inspires me see experimental work that may not suit my particular tastes but that pushes the boundaries of what design can be and the paths it could follow.

    The process and the experimental approach are just as important and mind-opening as the final product, I think.

    Studio Job’s work that moves me really truly MOVES me, boy do they produce some powerful pieces, and in my opinion hold a great potential to encourage other designers to try new techniques and forward-thinking ideas that could, in the end, raise the quality of design to new heights.

    They know who they are and fearlessly express their visions. Good for them.

  • Piper Maxwell

    Sure not Ure ;)