Art As Cluster Bomb: The Geert Wilders Project

Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries, “Geert Wilders” limited edition poster (2012)

The best revenge? It isn’t always living well.  Sometimes, it’s making art.

At least, it was for Dutch artist Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries,who has transformed the massive art cutbacks in the Netherlands to his largest and possibly most successful work to date: the Wilders Web Winkel,  or Wilders Webshop, named for controversial Dutch right wing politician Geert Wilders, who was the strongest proponent of the cuts. (“Art,” Wilders notoriously observed, “is but a hobby for the Left elite.”)

“Most people responded to the situation by taking a victim role,” says Himmelsbach de Vries. “And I was also affected: if I wanted to live from my art, I needed to enter the market.”  Elitist art had become a “no-go” zone; but Wilders was a populist. Hence the

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