Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Spendin'Cash and Talkin'Trash
Sun, Dec 31st, 2017 06:10:40 AM
Topic: Spendin'Cash and Talkin'Trash

Over the half a century RK has been collecting and researching historic weavings we have met all, or almost all, of the big spenders who have flashed into the 'rug game' and then subsequently flashed out.

It's a very easy thing to do -- spend your cash buying from high profile dealers or auction houses where these objects go on sale.

It's a whole hell of a lot harder to genuinely accomplish anything, or even do the simplist thing like see a return on the cash spent.

Few, in fact we'd have to say none we know, achieved getting their cash returned, forget about any profit.

This is not the fault of the weavings, it is the fault of the flawed methodology which governed how the cash was spent. By this we mean unless the 'right' weavings were bought, and not the 'wrong' ones, there was absolutely no chance any return could/would be made.

The latest flash in the pan wallet opener and big spender is michael black, whose force majeure attempt to 'corner the market' for historic Anatolian rugs is as unsuccessful as his belief his 'eye', which is trained for contemporary art buying, enbles him to acquire them.

So far this modus operandi has failed completely -- well, he did get one, Christopher Alexander's Konya rug known as the 'pink panther' from the London auction. But all the rest of the weavings black has bought are not only not in that class, they are many levels down on the totem pole.

The fact black is a dealer and will supposedly exhibit the rugs, a number of which RK has previously discussed, and then sell them to his clients raises some questions, at least in our view.

Since we have had extensive contact with him, know all the 'advisors and consultants' he relies upon, and seen the bunch of lesser weavings they have led him into spending cash on, we truly wonder where the sales patter black will employ to try and sell them will come from? Surely he has no command of the Anatolian rug idiom, neither in our estimation do his consultants, so what can he possibly say other than trash-talk?

As we have heard it from the horses's mouth, black himself, the Aantolian rugs will be exhibited in conjunction with and comparison to AB/ex, abstract expressionist, paintings. This is nothing but an old hat trick that has no legs, and while our contact with black has shown he knows alot about contemporary art and the business of selling it this talent will not help him in any way do anything but make silly worhtless comparsions between a noted or even unknown painter's work and that of a completely unrelated Anatolian weaver's.

We have said this before and know we are being somewhat redundant, but really now what can a contemporary art dealer like michael black say when trying to explain the rational of his exhibition. We are sure nothing noteworthy and will be willing to eat our words if he can summon anything other than trash-talk that draws coincidental similarities to vague visual comparisons he can no doubt find and cloak in contemporary art-dealer jargon.

But does this have any meaning? Does it add anything to the study of these weavings, or the paintings?

Please get a grip if you think this type of promotion will do anything but give black a new vehicle to empty the wallets of his clients, some of who he has told RK have already profited greatly from his advice.

RK's more than willing to bet this venture will not turn out as well for them, in fact we sincerely doubt anyone who buys any of the over-rated, over-dated, weavings we know black has so far acquired, except Alexander's 'pink panther', will ever see any return on their purchases, or even any return of the purchase price.

It's easy to open the wallet and buy rugs, there is no shortage. But there is a distinct and drastic one of masterpiece historic examples.

These are what black claims to be buying. This is his ultimate in trash talk, and not the first time we have told him so.

Now do not get RK wrong here -- we wish black all the success in the world but deep down we know the bogus house of cards he is building his buying efforts and proposed exhibition upon can not succeed in the long run to raise the profile of historic Anatolian weavings in the art world.

It can, however, enrich black and pass on the mediocre and less than stellar weavings he has bought into other hands.

Anything other than trash talk would alert his buyers to the underlying fact, unlike buying contemporary art where there is a built in 'next sucker' buyer paradigm, in the carpet world this does not exist.

The fact there is a very thin and small market, especially now for anything other than the best, in our estimation guarantees anyone buying carpets with little to no real experience or expertise and dollar signs in their eyes will suffer the fate numerous others have experienced as they have been separated from their cash and been left only with a rememberance of the trash-talk whomever they trusted told them as they were signing the check.

Never forget: Emptor caveat, times ten, when thinking about buying historic weavings for big prices.

Author: klh Sun, Dec 31st, 2017 06:10:40 AM


Author: jc
Sat, Dec 30th, 2017 02:34:22 PM

In private emails michael black has sent to RK, since our discussing his markarian, burns and Alexander purchases, he has accused us of being "jealous" and motivated by sour grapes in downing his purchases because he did not hire us as an advisor.

To say this is complete nonsense is to stretch the credibility of black's assertions to the breaking point.

First of all, except the pink panther rug, we would not want any of these carpets in our collection if they were given to us for free.

What we wrote about them, and lots more we could have, is not our opinion -- it is fact.

Chris Alexander's collection was definitely not of uniform overall high quality. Many of his carpets were not nearly as important or valuable as many believe. But they shine next to the two Shanbo monstrosities burns stitched black up with, as well as that boring late tulip medallion Konya knock-off and the other ghastly and gross ersatz NWP blossom rug markarian off-loaded on him.

All of black's protestations, accusations and insinuations about RK are as BS and bogus as his attempts to acquire early and significant Anatolian village rugs.

Trying to blame us for spreading lies about his purchases is as foolish as those who continue to criticize RK for making public the truth about dennis dodds and his Los Angeles County Art Museum 'bellini' rug rip off.

Truth hurts and because there is so little of it in rugDUMB those who are responsible feel they should be immune to criticism and critique no matter how honest and correct it might be.

Circling the wagons to prevent the truth from escaping is the number one defense those like dodds, thompson, denny, franses and other 'names in the rug game' employ. In conjunction with that rag hali magazine they had until RK came along been quite successful.

Frankly they still are because even though RK audience is ever increasing we sincerely doubt if we are reaching anymore than 25-30% of those seriously involved in carpet collecting.

So michael black, dodds and the others have little to fear that their missteps, shennanigans, over-dating and rating, rip-offs and worse will ever become widespread topics of conversation. However, as time goes on we know more and more people will become aware of what RK has said. But particularly in black's case, just like dennis dodds, the ink on the checks those who purchase the second-rate carpets he intends to exhibit with AB/ex paintings in a major "New York gallery" this summer will long have dried and the checks cashed before anyone is the wiser.

And while we were mistaken in writing his show would be held in Southampton, Long Island, we are not one iota wrong that the vast majority of the carpets he will show are not even close to the quality, age and importance dead-eye michael black both believes they are and will be, rest assured, claiming they are to all who bother to attend.

RK has no reservations to say black is a smart man but he is way out of his league pretending his aesthetics, his opinions and his eye are able to pick winner rugs like he has picked winner paintings. The rugs he has by and large so far acquired are bush league losers, and it will take a whole lotta art-dealer schoomzing and glib analysis to get anyone but trusting gullible clients to buy what his dead-eyed rug vision has chosen.

RK could have greatly helped him but as we have already written we do not work for free or peanut promises like black's "You just gotta trust me" offers always entailed. Too bad for him on several counts, not the least of which is the foolish belief his dead-eye and the help of several pundit advisors could ever be a substitute for RK's proven expertise.

Author: jc
Mon, Dec 11th, 2017 12:31:47 PM

Hi Michael:

How kind of you to take time out of your busy life to write to us.

Shame you could not express yourself better than repeating that tired old, boring and hackneyed mime you have already written in emails to us far too frequently.

You are surely entitled to an opinion but we both know the only reason you try to belittle RK is because we will not work for you at the peon slave wages you offer.

You also probably remember sending RK emails where you praise our knowledge, acknowledge how much help we have given you, as well as bona fide that you are a "poseur and decorator" in the orintal rug game.

It's really too bad you are 'too stupid' to get the best advice you can in your attempt to acquire old Anatolian weavings. And you know the only place you can get that is from RK...hence your vendetta to try and coerce us to do it 'your way'.

As RK always says :"Big people make mistakes but little people are always right".

So it's not too late for you to act like a big man and admit your mistake.

Playing the fool is never fun, particularly when everyone else knows it and you don't.

See'ya around...and how was Art Basel Miami?

Author: Michael Black
email: [email protected]
Mon, Dec 11th, 2017 03:41:11 AM

Jack Too Stupid

Author: jc
Sun, Dec 3rd, 2017 12:26:38 PM

Here's a good tip for michael black, who we know is a frequent reader of RugKazbah.com, the title of Ostler's 1980 exhibition of carpets and 'modern art' publication.

"Herbert Ostler, Aegidius Geisselmann, The Carpet Art of the Orient and Modern Art", Munich 1980.

We believe this is only the translation of the German language publication: "Herbert Ostler, gidius Geisselmann, Die Teppichkunst des Orients und die Kunst der Moderne", Mnchen 1980.

RK has never read Ostler's text but we might suggest black make an effort to find it so he can either benefit from Ostler's observations or at least try not to make the same mistakes.

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