The title makes note of a rather important ingredient: What is Art?
To say it is in the eye of the beholder is trite but true. Yet there is an overriding issue, and that is money. You know filthy lucre.
OK, how does this quotient fit into the roach motel rug show?
Things have run their course there and what started out as a venue for some smoked-out dealers, who could not afford or cared not to pay for a booth at the SF Tribal Arts show in Fort Mason, birthed the now heralded, but only by its own advertisements and that rag hali, AARTS show in the Capri Motel.
RK has commented before about the low-end venue, i.e. roach motel, and the implausibility of exhibiting high-end rugs and related weaving in a small motel room where a sagging double bed is the main feature.
This was the fifth edition of the show, and from what RK has heard it has now run its course and all the negatives, which have been present for anyone with open eyes to see have now, finally, made it thru the eyes, smoked-out or not, of just about every participant.
RK has canvased some of the participants and to a man they were all disappointed.
Why? Because, as one of them put it "Same faces every year, and this year hardly any interest in buying."
Talk was both cheap and plentiful there. Regrettably few purchases were transacted.
There is no question the rug world is not growing -- it is shrinking.
And while prices for great pieces continue their upward climb, there is little to no interest in the medium area of the market, unless those pieces are very reasonably priced.
And the bottom end of the market is dead as a doornail unless prices are dirt-cheap.
This has all been said before.
What we would like to add is the fact you can't sell a great piece in a roach motel setting, even to the faithful.
And from what RK heard, and saw, there were a few outstanding pieces there, with outstanding prices as well. But had the venue been equally as outstanding we are sure some of them would have sold.
There is of course a ratio of how much it costs to sell something to the price realized.
And no doubt the cheap sleep in the room at night and pretend it's a showroom during the day psychology is a potent one.
However, it does not work in the long run, and trying to sell "ART" in an environment that is anything but art doesn't make it. It makes failure.
And we think this fact has now become obvious to all.
As a gathering for ruggies the roach motel is a fine concept.
But as a venue to try and interest anyone other than the faithful in the "ART" of the oriental rug it is a complete and utter failure.