“For the ‘Self Portrait Clock’, for the first time I’ve been the ‘actor’ myself, for a continuous 12 hours of filming. I wanted to have inject my own activities, my own personality and manner, different than the previous clocks. So, I’m eating, drinking, wearing a hat, taking it off… Like that I fill a full day of hard work captured inside the clock.” - Maarten Baas
The original grandfather clock series was created in 2009, and every new iteration of the clock has had different theme, character, and design. According to Baas, designers are in a way ‘entertainers’ who make a show for the world, therefore he considers a theatre would be representative for his selfportrait. The design of the housing of the clock is based on a traditional ‘puppet theatre’, in bronze and brass. It has a separate facade, with an apparent simple-looking cabin, made of shelves, in which the ‘actor’ is playing his role. The audience sees only the bit that the actor wants them to see, and the ‘show’ is actually the passage of time in this case. Every minute is a new chapter in the story that’s being told.
Maarten Baas (1978) is a Dutch designer, who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2002. His studio is based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL).
Baas is considered one of the most influential artist designers of the early twenty-first century. His works straddle boundaries between art and design. He occupies a unique position in the field, embodying conceptual art, craftsmanship, installation, public space and performance into his oeuvre. He’s known for his rebellious, intellectual, theatrical and artistic style. Baas’ most renowned works are Smoke, Clay and Real Time, that gave him instant worldwide recognition. In 2009, he was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Design Basel/ Miami. In 2012, the New York Times listed both Smoke and Clay in its ‘Top 25 Design Classics of the Future’. In 2016, Baas won the Artprize for his Real Time Sweeper’s clock.
His work is found in numerous private and major museum collections, such as MOMA New York, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Les Arts Décoratifs Paris, San Francisco MOMA and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Furthermore, he has worked for exclusive brands like Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Dior, Dom Ruinart and Berluti.
In 2017, his first major museum show was opened at the Groninger Museum (NL), coinciding with the publication of his monograph, both titled ‘Hide & Seek’.