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.
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.
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.
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.