Today we read, with what we are sorry to say is our usual quota of disbelief and disinterest, the latest information the editor of hali thinks needs to be communicated via the web.
Granted because it concerns a carpet dealer who is an advertiser of there’s, it could interest a number of hali readers who live in Italy, and the assembled rugs themselves surely sound worthy of publicity, we would be among the first to recognize these reasons, and others we could cite, for its appearance.
Rather, it was ben the now journeyman's glib but meaningless attempt at being rug-clever that has garnered enough of our attention to warrant this entry. Actually, like all ben's previous efforts we have perused, his stillborn rug sense has prevented any change regarding our belief he is a rug ignorant.
Please, don't feel sorry for poor young benje, he has lots of company -- including some of the biggest names in rugdom.
You know, it is easy to talk rugs after reading lots of rug books (or is it looking at the pics and captions) and/or going to spb or Christies and opening one's wallet.
In bennie's case, it's the former and surely not the latter.
Regardless, he talks the talk but has his shoelaces tied when trying to walk the walk.
Here are a few sentences we have cut from his "review" with, of course, our clear as country water commentaries added in italics:
"Fantasy at your feet" is the title but, like dan walker's equally as ill-posed title to the Met's Indian Rugs Exhibition, it conjures up smelling socks and dirty floors and not the splendidly colorful images anyone with a brain would want to convey about a show of weavings.
Although we aren't quite sure whose title it is, the show or bennie's web review, whose ever scribbled it needs some drastic and immediate re-educating as far as we are concerned.
"The collection demonstrates the great range in design and woven quality of these much underestimated carpets, as well as showing what a superlative effort is involved in collecting, cleaning, sometimes restoring and of course holding onto these pieces over an extended period in order to present them in a catalogued show."
Invariably, we take umbrage with those who spend words describing the obvious and the fact the dealer had to spend his time and money surely is as obvious as the red field under the prayer arch most rug book author tell their readers when “discussing” the picture above/below such a palpable attempt to say something.
Like these authors, benny has little/no insight, information or should, we even breech the subject, ideas to offer.
Instead a dribble of worthlessly recounting the obvious and some compliments offered in the direction of the gallery owner are all he can manage.
"Indeed the catalogue is a vital tool in this exhibition. It allows the group of carpets to ooze colour from the pages, while full page details draw attention to the playfulness and fanciful drawing of individual motifs."
We couldn't have produced a better example of say-nothingness while trying to impress someone, anyone, with I really do know somethingitis.
We'd like to ask benny, rhetorically of course, when is a catalog not a vital tool to any exhibition?
And really now, ben, playfulness and fanciful drawing? A full-page detail of a 1930's hamadan could be as enchanting but, know we well, benny-boy probably couldn't tell the difference, anyway.
We'd also suggest benny banish dopey phrases like "oozing color", as this, too, might sound enchanting to anyone who wanders into a going-out-of-business rug emporium. However most readers of hali are savvy enough to recognize such meaningless hype and ben better figure that out fast or there won’t be many of those left if things at the subscription dept are going the way we’ve heard they are.
"What is immediately obvious when seeing the catalogue and some of the carpets is the diversity of the design and coloration within what is in fact a fairly narrow range with its vocabulary of medallion, spandrels and one main border with two guard stripes."
Hey benny, time to learn this mantra: Less is more. Take it to heart, boy, especially when you have nothing to say.
"Looking at these carpets the experienced eye automatically recognises clearly identifiable types of rug with their characteristic colours, weave and design. Interestingly, though, it is difficult to capture these particularities in structural description or exact formulas. Until this is done we will have to continue to use the slightly unsatisfactory broad terminology that is common parlance in rug circles.
This hairsplitting aside, the common theme of the carpets in this show is their graphic power and decorative appeal, two things that are clearly not wasted on the gallery’s customers since two of the more expensive carpets in the show had sold prior to the opening."
Clearly benny has unwittingly finally said something of note and merit: Carpet studies are way behind all other art areas.
Though he did this unintentionally still accrues some credit with us but referring to this as 'hair-splitting" doesn't.
Sorry master ben this is not hair-splitting, it exposes the basically non-existent structure Oriental Rug studies rests upon. Forget the drastic need to improve it.
And, lastly, who might those "experienced eyes" be?
We are sure we are not the only one to imagine they definitely are not those belonging to hali's still-too-wet-behind-the-ears editor who penned this sophomoric exhibition review.