The Rijksmuseum may have been completely wrong in managing the reconstruction process that will probably take two decades – a time frame that China use to rebuild complete cities – in my opinion they did a great thing in exhibiting Damien Hirst ‘for the love of god’.
I have seen it, and must say I was impressed. It is exuburant, extravagant and outrageous. I think the beauty of it lies in the multiplicy of meanings it evokes at the same time: memento mori, vanitas, bling bling, craftmenship, money. It is at the same time conceptual art (which I hate) and not conceptual at all. It is often said that art is able to express the spirit of a time and it can be seen as ‘weak signal’ for future developments. How coïncidal is it that this piece of art has been issued just before the crisis we encounter? I think the piece fits perfectly well in the environment of the Rijksmuseum with its 17th centrury art.
Very worthwile is the part of the website that allows visitors to express their opinion.