giuseppe de giosa (pino), a career banker, i have straddled the worlds of finance and art all my adult life. growing up in the lush landscape of Puglia, Italy, surrounded by the beauty of Italian sculpture and architecture, i developed a subconscious appreciation for the creative arts. in the mid-80s, my first overseas posting to London gave me the opportunity to be exposed to the arts and antiquities scene in London. it was here that i embarked upon an intensive study of rugs and paintings, developing a knowledge base and a critical eye.
initially, i was consumed with a passion for carpets; Caucasians in particular. but as i came to be more exposed and knowledgeable, i began to develop a preference for carpets that were less commercial, from lesser-known centres of weaving; carpets that were more rustic, free spirited and personalized in style.
then in 1991 while on a visit to Tibet, i stumbled upon a van stacked with Tibetan carpets and it was as if my third eye opened. in exploring temples, monasteries and palaces now i saw with a fresh understanding the place and significance of these rugs. this was the beginning of my love affair with Tibetan carpets.
during this same visit, i chanced upon a store with thousands of carpets. i developed a fast friendship with the owner and spent many hours with him learning about the carpets and their place in Tibetan tradition and culture. i was not only astounded by the beauty of these rugs but also by their unique knotting technique, the craftsmanship employed and the chromatic palette informed by clothes, furniture and ornaments of the Potala palace, the chief residence of the dalai lama whilst in Tibet. in that moment, the idea of starting a collection of antique Tibetan carpets took root. my collection began that day with 16 rugs.
whilst in Singapore, i was exposed to other asian works of art and artifacts. from Chinese and Japanese furniture to buddhist sculptures from Thailand, Laos, Burma and Cambodia, traditional textiles, sculptures and paintings from artists in the region, i fell head first into the vortex of asian art and antiquities.
my posting to Australia in the mid-90s, saw me once more exploring the art of the land as a way to understand a new society and landscape. i frequented museums and galleries regularly, and after a year, i still only had a superficial insight into Australian aboriginal art. but once i understood, i developed an intense passion for the canon. i found it incredibly pleasurable to juxtapose these aboriginal pieces with the Tibetan rugs; this was perhaps because each came out of a people telling stories of their ancestors, tradition, landscape and culture. the 2000s saw me intensively exploring the contemporary art scene in India and allowed me to nurture relationships with exciting, emerging artists.
over the years, every time i moved (which was often) and set up home yet again, i would use the opportunity to blend together my very eclectic collection of paintings, carpets, vintage furniture, lights and objet d’ art. the result i found gave pleasure not only to myself but to the many visitors to my homes.
as a result, i found myself helping friends and colleagues build their own collections and decorate their homes. this has given me so much delight that i wish, now in my retirement, to bring what i have to offer to a wider audience.
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