Dezeen Magazine

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