Over the half a century RK has been collecting and researching historic weavings we have met all, or almost all, of the big spenders who have flashed into the 'rug game' and then subsequently flashed out.
It's a very easy thing to do -- spend your cash buying from high profile dealers or auction houses where these objects go on sale.
It's a whole hell of a lot harder to genuinely accomplish anything, or even do the simplist thing like see a return on the cash spent.
Few, in fact we'd have to say none we know, achieved getting their cash returned, forget about any profit.
This is not the fault of the weavings, it is the fault of the flawed methodology which governed how the cash was spent. By this we mean unless the 'right' weavings were bought, and not the 'wrong' ones, there was absolutely no chance any return could/would be made.
The latest flash in the pan wallet opener and big spender is michael black, whose force majeure attempt to 'corner the market' for historic Anatolian rugs is as unsuccessful as his belief his 'eye', which is trained for contemporary art buying, enbles him to acquire them.
So far this modus operandi has failed completely -- well, he did get one, Christopher Alexander's Konya rug known as the 'pink panther' from the London auction. But all the rest of the weavings black has bought are not only not in that class, they are many levels down on the totem pole.
The fact black is a dealer and will supposedly exhibit the rugs, a number of which RK has previously discussed, and then sell them to his clients raises some questions, at least in our view.
Since we have had extensive contact with him, know all the 'advisors and consultants' he relies upon, and seen the bunch of lesser weavings they have led him into spending cash on, we truly wonder where the sales patter black will employ to try and sell them will come from? Surely he has no command of the Anatolian rug idiom, neither in our estimation do his consultants, so what can he possibly say other than trash-talk?
As we have heard it from the horses's mouth, black himself, the Aantolian rugs will be exhibited in conjunction with and comparison to AB/ex, abstract expressionist, paintings. This is nothing but an old hat trick that has no legs, and while our contact with black has shown he knows alot about contemporary art and the business of selling it this talent will not help him in any way do anything but make silly worhtless comparsions between a noted or even unknown painter's work and that of a completely unrelated Anatolian weaver's.
We have said this before and know we are being somewhat redundant, but really now what can a contemporary art dealer like michael black say when trying to explain the rational of his exhibition. We are sure nothing noteworthy and will be willing to eat our words if he can summon anything other than trash-talk that draws coincidental similarities to vague visual comparisons he can no doubt find and cloak in contemporary art-dealer jargon.
But does this have any meaning? Does it add anything to the study of these weavings, or the paintings?
Please get a grip if you think this type of promotion will do anything but give black a new vehicle to empty the wallets of his clients, some of who he has told RK have already profited greatly from his advice.
RK's more than willing to bet this venture will not turn out as well for them, in fact we sincerely doubt anyone who buys any of the over-rated, over-dated, weavings we know black has so far acquired, except Alexander's 'pink panther', will ever see any return on their purchases, or even any return of the purchase price.
It's easy to open the wallet and buy rugs, there is no shortage. But there is a distinct and drastic one of masterpiece historic examples.
These are what black claims to be buying. This is his ultimate in trash talk, and not the first time we have told him so.
Now do not get RK wrong here -- we wish black all the success in the world but deep down we know the bogus house of cards he is building his buying efforts and proposed exhibition upon can not succeed in the long run to raise the profile of historic Anatolian weavings in the art world.
It can, however, enrich black and pass on the mediocre and less than stellar weavings he has bought into other hands.
Anything other than trash talk would alert his buyers to the underlying fact, unlike buying contemporary art where there is a built in 'next sucker' buyer paradigm, in the carpet world this does not exist.
The fact there is a very thin and small market, especially now for anything other than the best, in our estimation guarantees anyone buying carpets with little to no real experience or expertise and dollar signs in their eyes will suffer the fate numerous others have experienced as they have been separated from their cash and been left only with a rememberance of the trash-talk whomever they trusted told them as they were signing the check.
Never forget: Emptor caveat, times ten, when thinking about buying historic weavings for big prices.