Artist and design duo Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel founded Studio Job in 2000. In the eighteen years since they graduated from the Dutch Design Academy in Eindhoven and formed the studio, they have become contemporary cultural pioneers who are slowly revolutionizing common preconceptions about the distinct realms of art and design. Striving towards the creation of Gesamtkunstwerk, which sometimes translates poorly to “aesthetics” but more precisely means a ‘synsthesis of the arts’ or “universal artwork”, Studio Job often reference the German composer Richard Wagner’s aesthetic ideals in their practice as they seek and move toward the clearest and most profound expression of the stories and mythologies with which they engage and bring to life.
Studio Job’s work is in the true spirit of the Renaissance where techniques are interchanged and were disciplines are disregarded towards creation of the new, where ideas and imagery are appropriated with ease regardless of geographic or conceptual boundaries and repurposed into something new, where culture, spirituality and aesthetics converge in one cacophonous space, and where production and craftsmanship yield one-of-a-kind and never-before-seen objects and environments that bridge art and design occupying and redefining the gray area in between.
At once highly specific and yet entirely universal, personally expressive and yet experimental, Studio Job is crafting a body of work that draws upon classical, popular and contemporary design and visual art. The symbolism and iconography that Studio Job creates is heraldic and regal even in its pop cartoonish imagery. As sleek as the work can be, it is also instinctual and almost primal. Job Smeets likes to call their style ‘New Gothic’ as evidenced by the perfectionism and uniqueness that have become one of the studio’s defining features. Nynke Tynagel often speaks of the work by referencing a symphony orchestra, aligning their process of creation with the way that a cohesive piece of music is created from an abundance of different sounds. Again Tynagel reminds us that each of the parts is of equal importance as it lends itself to the creation of the totality, or the universal artwork.
The studio itself includes traditional craftsmen and contemporary industrial professionals from sculptors furniture makers and painters to specialists in cast bronze, stained-glass, laser cutting and 3D printing all of whom work to realize Studio Job designs in whatever final form may be required. The flexibility of application and realization frees the studio from the confines of any one particular medium and allows for the artwork to speak for itself on an aesthetic and conceptual level prior independent of its physicality. Personal in their approach and extravagant in the details, Studio Job heralds a new moment in the current conversation about the definition (or lack thereof between the disciplines.) Contrary to contemporary ambivalence towards the decorative arts, Studio Job is revolutionizing perceptions of the genre, allowing for the opulence, ornamentation and intricacy of their designs while at the same they remain committed to a high level of craftsmanship. As maximilists in motto and motivation, Studio Job allows for fiction and story to lead and to generate new visual environments.
Ximena Caminos, Chair Faena Art, Buenos Aires / Miami