by Zohra KhanApr 23, 2021
“I want to be remembered as a good guy and a nice dad and hope that there are traces of my work still left in the future".
– Job Smeets, artist, designer
As STIR launches UNSCRIPTED as a fun new series of video conversations with leading design professionals, we have the Belgium-born and Netherlands-based sculptural artist and designer, Job Smeets, of atelier Studio Job as the first guest who whisks us through some ‘serious fun’ as he shares what’s weird and whimsical about him in this nine-minute episode.
While the world knows him as the eccentric designer who crafts extremely visual, gigantic and absurdist sculptures, not many are aware that this 51-year-old creative is a doting father, a brilliant surfer, a gifted writer and a ballet dancer as well. While his one-off pieces grace some of the world’s most influential art galleries, workshops, and private spaces, his design practice - contrary to the dominant perception - isn’t only about creative extravaganza for the rich and famous.
Not everything you do is genius. Sometimes you make mistakes and afterwards you make better choices. Even mistakes are admissible. Otherwise, I’ll be very boring. – Job Smeets
Smeets chooses emotions over logic and disregards stereotypes when it comes to defining a style. He is always full of unpredictable ideas that coalesce art and design in surreal concoctions of ironies and iconography. Having channelled this synergy in creating a disruptive body of work, which spans architecture, interior design, furniture, lighting, and art, his interpretations of everyday objects reflect his approach to design where everything is created with 'serious fun'. Bold and never boring, he has to his credit the conceptualisation of stunning bronze artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; one-of-its-kind Wunderkammer curiosity cabinet crafted for Swarovski in Innsbruck; a monumental reproduction of the Big Ben showcased at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Big Ben Aftermath); a series of lamps shaped like peeled bananas (Banana Lamp, 2018) for his pop brand BLOW; and furniture replicating the imagery of fast food for Italian brand Seletti (Hot Dog Sofa, Hamburger Chair, 2018), to name a few.
In an exciting rapid fire session with STIR, Smeets spills some beans on the creative and personal side of his life – from passions and possessions, daily rituals and yearly sojourns to growing up years and his biggest fear thus far…
Tap on the cover video to watch the complete interview.
Curated by Pramiti Madhavji (Consultant, Content Adviser, STIR), UNSCRIPTED is a STIR-original series of quick-witted video interviews with 30 leading design professionals who give us an undiscovered peek into their lives. A melting pot of quests, revelations and quirks, the series spans 30 weeks with a release every Sunday as designers reveal unheard and unknown nuggets from their lives, in response to 30 questions.