Earlier this month a portrait painting by Pablo Picasso sold at Sotheby New York for
Yes, thatís right ninety five MILLION dollars and some spare change.
Well, after spending a bundle like that, the two hundred sixteen thousand dollars is really only spare change, right?
Anyway, though this painting is
ďimportantĒ, as it is his mistress and muse, Dora Maar and was painted in 1942, is it really worth that amount of lucre?
Not to get involved in a discussion of whether or not Picasso is a great artist, or just a great promoter, or if this is his best or one of his best works, the fact remains thatís a whole lotta cash to tie up in one art-work.
Even if the prime rate of lending is relatively low at the moment, say 4%, it would cost in real terms about 3.5 million dollars a year to own it.
Letís just stop and think about this for an instant.
During the run up to the great depression and worldwide financial collapse following October 29, 1929, similarly outlandish prices were paid for Old Master paintings and renaissance sculpture.
Yes, those prices adjusted for todayís dollars still seem rather reasonable, however, in real terms, i.e. gold or chop-meat which ever is your choice to base a standard on, they were, like the portrait of Dora Maar totally out of line. By the way, RK believes the next worldwide financial tsunami and 9 point on the richter scale earthquake is just around the corner. Mark our words well.
But back to Dora Maar.
What is really out of line here, and the purpose for RKís writing this today, is the ridiculously meager price a great rug would sell for in comparison.
Letís just say for grins, we were able to remove Picassoís name from the portrait.
What do you think it would sell for then? Nine million? Nine hundred thousand? Ninety thousand? Nine thousand? Or Nine hundred?
RK would forward nine hundred as the price.
Why you might ask?
Simply put, paintings only sell because of the painter, not because of their quality or any other factor. And because Picasso is one of the most famous painters of all time, was a prolific artist and a personality extraordinaire his works command great attention and huge prices.
Had he been a shy, retiring fellow who painted only a few works, we are doubly positive he would be selling in the low millions at best, or perhaps not even at that level, and then only on account of his participation in Cubism and other avant-garde movements.
Had he not participated, he would be selling in the thousands or tens of thousands. This is fact, donít doubt it.
So the reality painting collectors are actually only autograph hounds is nothing new, nor is it a brilliant deduction on RKís part.
Far from it, anyone with half a brain who follows the art-market knows this.
However, since RK is interested in historic Eastern Mediterranean weaving, we know the only way to garner appreciation, and yes high prices, for the best of these art works is hanging autographs on them.
OK, Dorothy, we know these weavings, besides for a few signed, or inscribed, classical Safavid or Ottoman Carprets, which by the way all RKís readers know donít interest us very much, are unsigned and undated.
In fact, most of them cannot even be attributed to a specific geographic location, let alone to any weaver or group.
So how then can we put that all important ďautographĒ on them?
Science, boys and girls, thru forensic scientific analysis.
RK is already well on the path of seeking funding to put our ideas into practice and when, not if, we are endowed the glass ceiling separating historic Near Eastern weaving from the top of the art market will shatter like a pepsi bottle thrown out of a speeding semi.
Not to insult our audience but to call the shots as they are, many of you could help to support this investigation instead of buying more airport art at sothebys, Christies or bozwells, spending your money to attend another stupid acor or icoc circle jerk or spending your time reading what those rug challenged stupid bastards and rug ignorants like blurry oCONnell, professor price=clown, filiberto the vacuous twit or dopey dead-eye john howe scribble daily.
Itís about time those of you who want to make a statement get off your chairs and join RK.
We will guarantee your participation will ensure not only your places in rug history but also your place in rug heaven.
There is no doubt a great historic Turkmen, Caucasian or Turkish weaving has as much star power as the Dora Maar portrait and wanna know something? Itís far more rare, exciting and art worthy.
We dare any major museum to put a weaving of our choice on one wall of a large gallery room and any painting of their choice on the opposite wall.
We are willing to bet at long odds when the lay public enters that room our weaving will out draw, or at least equal, the attention paid to their painting.
Viewers could even be polled to see which art work was more appreciated or important in their opinion.
We are positive our choice would win hands down and know weaving is the art of the 21st century.
Hereís a mockup of our idea, Dora Maar in a comparison side-by-side with a detail from a weaving with, in our estimation, more star power than anything
Picasso ever painted:
Just a little fact before we have to sign off: The Weaving Art Museum website gets about 150 Ė200 users per day on average, 2-3000 hits per day.
Now think about this, there is no links page so anyone who comes to visit has nowhere to go, WAMRI is a cul-de-sac.
Also nothing new has been added to the site, not one word or picture, since last May.
So who are all these visitors?
Honestly, we cannot answer that question but we do know many come from educational institutions and while we can, like on RugKazbah, collect IP addresses we surely cannot put any faces behind those numbers.
RK knows the public at large is very interested in the magic, beauty and history that belong to great historic weavings from the Near East and when, not if, those autographs are established, skyís the limit for not only new levels of pricing but, far more importantly, new and wider levels of appreciation.