Home > Archive >SF "Tribal" Art Fair 2007
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Wed, Feb 21st, 2007 03:19:53 PM
Topic: SF "Tribal" Art Fair 2007

Like the medieval faires of old a group of traveling rug, as well as other tribal art dealers who regularly converge to display and sell their wares, shows up in San Francisco. Such is the case this weekend and RK would urge any really seriously motivated readers who can possibly walk, drive or fly to get there, do so.

On view at Fort Mason's large pier/convention center is some pretty, by market standards, hot stuff among the twenty-five or so internationally renown rug dealers showing.

Prices are naturally high but, and don't quote us here, any real buyer should be able to negotiate an attractive deal without much trouble.

Also as regularly, another contingent of rug dealers can likewise be found this weekend at two motels, known as the Cow Hollow and the Capri, that are just down the street from Fort Mason. This year, as we have heard it, there is less action behind those closed and open doorways but there are still a number of rooms where the chance to find something interesting is a least as good as it is over at the fair.

Should we hear anything else noteworthy about the event we will be glad to post it here to this thread. And, should any readers have anything of their own to add, we’d welcome hearing from you, too.

Author: MoreCassinizations
Wed, Feb 21st, 2007 03:19:53 PM

Awww Chrikie ! More Dingos and a platypus! Here comes a kangaroo, mate!

Author: More Cassinizations
Wed, Feb 21st, 2007 11:34:14 AM

We see y'all take exception to our characterizations of your "Failed Ventures", "Mediocre Pictures" and lack of "Vissual Integrity". It is good that we can all at least agree about your Lunacy. Maybe the Dingo ate your baby.

Author: More Cassinizations
Wed, Feb 21st, 2007 01:07:19 AM

RK Replies: Failed ventures?

Mediocre pictures?

"Vissual" integrity?

Feeling better now? Feeling like you did anything but make yourself look stupid? If so think again, dingo, you're wrong once more.


Boo hoo hoo. As if this website or any other of your failed ventures don't rank among rugdom's biggest wastes of time. How about y'all write a rug book that is more than just a collection of mediocre pictures accompanied by lunacy (or design a website with the slightest bit of vissual integrity)?

Author: More Cassinizations
Tue, Feb 20th, 2007 03:35:42 PM

RK Replies:

Yawn. Don't you clowns have anything better to do?

Go read a rug book, even if looking at the pics is the best effort y'all could possibly muster.


Congratulations! It seems that both rugkazbah and wamri (not to mention their founder and chief) have made it into the digital lexicon of the vernacular English language, Urban Dictionary. For anyone interested see UrbanDictionary.com or simply google, rugkazbah, wamri, or cassinization. Enjoy!

Author: jc
Mon, Feb 19th, 2007 12:34:10 PM

While on our sojourn to San Francisco we were shown this chuval by a dealer from the faire who offered it to us for sale:

We didn’t think too much about it then, nor were we impressed with the fact it might be some “eagle” group knockoff.

To us it was nothing more than a rather unsightly chuval, well past its prime.

Our reason for posting the photo is not to open the can of worms concerning how “rare” it might be or whether or not it is “eagle” group.

Regardless, it is ugly and the “motifs” appear to us to be derivative and not historic.

By the way, the dealer who offered it to us quoted a price that was high. So high, in fact, we had to ask him if he was joking.

While rarity often trumps the realities of condition and “beauty”, at least in RK’s rug world, the object really has to be rare: not pseudo-rare as this chuval no doubt appeared to us then and still does now.

Author: jc
Fri, Feb 16th, 2007 03:47:14 PM

This morning while reading their “review” of this show, RK had that stranger in a strange land feeling we invariably get when reading hali or their the website.

Besides glossing over the lack of substantial business, and even interest expressed by the “public” for the carpets and textiles on offer, and only mentioning and picturing pieces belonging to those dealers who advertise in hali, the reviewer clearly forgot everyone does not wear the ruby-colored shades he does.

In fact, RK found this “review” to be nothing more than a cheap bit of publicity for them and a cold shoulder to everyone else.

But even worse was contemplating the following paragraph which that reviewer used to end his piece:

“But more importantly, the patrons of the show HAVE changed if not their faces, their purpose and interest in attending. The atmosphere among the familiar crowd of faces was subdued. New faces of young upwardly mobile people were absent this year. Inquiries from people who want to learn and enjoy were less than before. Whether that is an indication of the times, or our field of interest, I am not sure. I actually think it has more to do with the fact that the people who are getting started in this field of interest are located far away from these major urban centers where such shows occur. And it is the power of the internet that is proving to be the way in which both information and images of art are being transmitted. The future of the textile art business is as bright as ever, it may be illuminated by a computer monitor rather than the halogen beams at an exhibition venue!”

RK is not the only person who knows the reviewer, tom cole, is not only rug challenged but, apparently, equally as befuddled interpreting what is happening, or should we say not happening, at these affairs.

Plus, the face-job cole so ridiculously cites in his review is about as dumb an observation about an antiques show as RK has ever read.

The reasons for the lack of public interest and buying at these faires can be chalked up to many variables — the most obvious being the proliferation of these events and the inability of most, if not all, carpet scholars and dealers to realize the need to create a genuine scientific, ethnographic and historical framework to judge and properly value these weavings.

Until this happens(and from the looks of things it appears this might be a long time in coming) rugdom will surely continue to wallow in its own BS.

Rug dealers will continue to moan and hali, with reviewers like cole, will continue to place the blame elsewhere or, as they are so well experienced in doing, whip out the old crying towel and pass it around to all who would seek consolation.

Author: jc
Mon, Feb 12th, 2007 07:38:31 PM

Regardless of who is doing the telling, it seems some dealers did well enough to say so but most didn’t. Those that did report other dealers were their customers and apparently from what we gathered there was little participation from the public.

RK attended the festivities at one of the motels for several days and can report, first-hand, there was basically no one trolling the hallways or knocking on closed, or even open, room doors.

We all know most, if not all, of today’s breed of top “collector” prefers to open the wallet in the safety-net of an auction room. Even the opening-day fever that used to invade some of these faires is now, like the desire to own a Ghiordes prayer rug, a thing of the past.

Despite this turn of events, which by the way is nothing new as it has been going on for some long years now, some exhibiting dealers still do live in hopes of landing big tuna and moving substantial five, or better yet six, figure deals out the door.

Hope for the best but expect the worst is what RK would counsel any who might ask for our opinion on that one.

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