01 July 2023
Job Smeets the artist behind Studio Job, known for his stunning neo-gothic, surreal monumental sculptures, creates a visual masterpiece of eleven dystopian summer scenes for luxury French brand Hermès. ‘Life on Mars’ is a new solo project working directly with the Hermès atelier to create a nationwide art window display series across France for Summer 2023.
The project was a creative project between Job Smeets and Hermès atelier, with Job working directly with their French studio, his sketches and concepts translated into window displays of his work across all 80 Hermès windows in France for the summer campaign. Job wanted to create a vision of the ultimate hot summer: humans colonising Mars. ‘Life on Mars’ named after the Bowie classic imagines how that would look, from a game show in the red sand, to a frites shop on a volcano. Fire hydrants spill fire, volcanic smoke bubbles over, Mars Rover becomes a prop, and even the Hermès horse dives under the table. The window scenes centre around a powerful almost superhero in with an androgynous look, her space helmet is designed as it would be for Hermès, not just for function but elegant, and avant-garde. After a visit to the Hermès family Museum in Paris Job was inspired by many of the elements of the brands’ history cleverly combining these into the futuristic world he created.
Many ‘Job’ elements are visible through the project making it immediately identifiable as coming from the brain of the artist; the bubbling volcano structure (a statement feature of his work as seen in the Train Crash Table & Titanic), funfair lights (as seen in B*llsh*t Circus), pop art fire, banana (Banana Lamp), and even the flying cake (Sex cake and Automobile) are coming directly from Job’s sculptural work.
‘Hermès interprets my ideas in its own incredible way, from my drawings of this surreal utopia, or maybe you could call it a dystopia, but it’s a textile outcome created with fabrics, leathers, sand, intricate stitching that only the atelier of Hermès can produce. If this project were working with my own atelier the result would be completely different as our materials like are almost the opposite, so as an artist it’s an amazing moment to see how another atelier interprets my work into their form.”
The windows will be on view across all Hermès locations in France (excluding the Rue de Faubourg store location which has an independent window design contract) until September 2023. Each store has a differing layout and design due to each building being its own unique shape and size so will have a differing combination of the eleven scenes. Note: The eleven scenes are all shown in the photography and are from the location 42 Av. George V, Paris.