A destructive diary
“In the crisis year of 2009, my annus horribilis, I drew a few hundred sketches that had one theme in common. Later they led to a new collection that we dubbed ‘Aftermath’.
They are dark drawings that speak of personal loss and universal destruction. The end of the world and its appalling humanity. Impending doom and the transience of life’s greatest treasures: love, trust and hope. They are tragic sketches about crumbling cultures, failing systems, murderous extremes and deadly storms.
Pride and fall, blind ambition, mass hysteria and all the other things that make us throw ourselves and all we possess into a fetid cesspit. The so-called lofty civilization where hate reigns and discord is sown. Despicable regimes with countless laws, emblems and victims. Manipulation through religion and propaganda. Our truth is a dictatorial cycle that since time immemorial has made us fall and get up again, build up and demolish what we have built.
Mother Nature must have been sleeping when, sometime in 2010, I managed to crawl out of purgatory. Above that hot lava, on the edge of the volcano, we grabbed hot monsters from the seething mass and selected and collected the most typical lumps from the black mush of existence.
These bizarre images are the blueprints for a new and perhaps final series of images produced by Studio Job. A life’s work that you could see as a dramatic sequel to the 2007 ‘Robber Baron’.
These ‘final projects’ will test people’s patience and set out a new course, they may smoulder forever in purgatory or, with a little bit of luck, be preserved for posterity.
Whatever the outcome, these will always remain devilish works, whose ecstatic content rivals that of voodoo treasures from ancient temples and whose expression is akin to the showpieces of a culture that was already doomed at birth. Aftermath – trophies from the epilogue of a glorious and tragic empire – tolls the final bell for us all.”
– Job Smeets, Antwerp, June 2010