Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Another lunch with Moshe Tabibnia
Fri, Dec 14th, 2012 02:06:14 AM
Topic: Another lunch with Moshe Tabibnia

Last evening we posted the below in the "Book Review" Topic area here on RugKazbah.com.

But, as we know more viewers will be moved to read it here, we are reposting it for that very reason.

We would also like to add the recent visit described below is not the first, or the second time, we have visited Tabibnia in his gallery. In fact we are pretty sure we have been there at least 10 times and on almost every visit Moshe has graciously invited us to lunch with him.

This time was no different, however, instead of taking us to a restaurant he often frequents, which is close to his gallery and has excellent food, he took us somewhere else.

The minute we walked through the door we knew his choice was a poor one and the meal we had, well at least our end of it, was substandard at best.

Now RK knows a bit about restaurants, and food, probably as much as we know about oriental rugs. Surely we are equally passionate about both, and our many decades of restaurant meals has honed our appreciation of the dedication, work and expertise producing excellent cuisine takes.

Anyway, not to turn this into a restaurant review, lunch stunk and probably we would have been better ordering a pizza rather than a pasta and a meat course.

As bad as the food was, so was Tabibnia's defensive, haughty air and his abject abhorrence of putting any credence in what we said.

Again this is not the first time he has pretended ability to shoot down our message without the slightest documentation or proof his position is tenable.

Enter the "pompous fool" picture we describe below.

RK is truly sad someone like Tabibnia believes the often contradictory spiel that flows from his lips. Too bad he doesn't have guns at his hip to support his claims.

So read the below and know it is 100 percent accurate. We even believe were any reader to call Tabibnia and ask him if our portrayal of the afternoon we spent together is correct he would say "Yes".

The rug community needs to come together and a big start would be if Tabibnia and other big shots in RugDumb would open their peepers and see some few non-classical rugs are as important, beautiful, evocative and yes valuable as some few classical ones.

And just like there are very few masterpiece classical carpets so, too, there are very few masterpiece non-classical ones.

And because no one can build a business on such artwork, these weavings are outside the confines of commercial interest -- they appeal to higher ground....a place someone like Tabibnia aches to reach but, in our opinion, falls horribly short of landing.


RK recently visited Moshe Tabibnia in his impressive gallery, and as usual we argued about things far more than we agreed.

We are surely sitting in different pews, separated by an extremely wide aisle, and though people would say we are in the same church RK would have to disagree.

Moshe has become the most important textile dealer in the world by default, and with that mantle he is self-impressed.

But having a classy gallery and an inventory of "important" rugs and tapestries does not bestow omnipotence. Far from it.

Tabibnia has very few what RK would call cutting-edge weavings, and a book like his "Milestones", the subject of our review, demonstrates this perfectly.

RK has tried to convince Moshe, to no avail mind you, a Turkmen rug, an Anatolian Village rug, a Kelim or a Soumak bag is as important, beautiful and evocative as a classical carpet.

On this last visit RK got so tired and bored listening to Tabibnia go on about how disrespected RK is in rugDUMB, how unappreciated we are, how our fame is only based on people's opinion our personality stinks, etc, etc we did not even bother to comment. Frankly we could care less, having heard this bullshit from him before.

We also had to almost laugh in his face when he tried to put words in our mouth about our extensive published research and work when he has never even bother to read anything we have written. He has affirmed this to us in the past and did so again recently.

Tabibnia has purchased copies of all our books directly from us but has never bothered to open them to read what is there, preferring to just look at the pictures we imagine.

We have known this for sometime, and that is really the reason we bothered to read the thompson text for the "Milestones" book and then critique it -- to get him to read it and appreciate our ability to critique and, yes, negate what thompson has stated.

And, even after telling him about it, emailing him several times links to it, we are sure he still has not read it.

What can you say about someone who feels they know something when they have never taken the first step to actually ever experienced it first-hand. Forget about then doing the hard work of understanding what they have experienced.

RK would have to call this type of person a "pompous fool", and in fact we have, more than once, told Tabibnia this to his face.

The history of oriental rug collecting absolutely shows the failure of certain "fads", which have been promoted at one time or another, to stand the weight of time.

And today's fascination with classical carpets at the expense of equally as important non-classical ones will, and RK is sure about this as we are the sun will come up tomorrow, be considered as incorrect and short-sighted as the fascination with Kula and Ghiordes prayer rugs almost a century ago.

Tabibnia is in a very powerful position and he could really use that power to create new, cutting-edge appreciation in oriental rug studies.

However, his inability to demonstrate anything other than the most droll and obvious "commercial" interest in oriental rugs will eventually leave him and his reputation to fade just like the belief held decades ago a Kula prayer rug was 16th century.

Yes, of course, we know Tabibnia has a gallery to run and selling "furniture" and respected wall-"art" is his business.

But along with such activity, which will never foster a lasting or remarkable reputation, a far-sighted man would be moved to broaden the perimeter -- something which would garner and guarantee that type of reputation.

Sadly, Tabibnia just doesn't get it as the saying goes. And no arguments from RK will ever convince him we are 100 percent right.

Tabibnia is a salesman peddling an accepted product, while RK is an explorer and adventurer in unknown realms.

Our positions could not be more opposite; however, they could meet at a central point.

And that central point is both our need for an enlightened and educated audience, something which again Tabibnia doesn't get.

We sincerely doubt he ever will. But being the eternal optimist, something all explorers and adventurers must manifest, pushes us to continue to try.

Not only with Tabibnia but with others and in every situation we encounter.

We are emailing Tabibnia a link to this comment, and should he actually bother to read it we are equally sure its message will, like water on a duck's back, slide off with nary a notice.

Too bad for both of us, but how often do those who believe they know it all realize they don't?

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