Since he escaped the dotcom bust with a considerable fortune, Halsey Minor, the founder of tech-news site CNET, has been acquiring art, real estate, and a blonde trophy wife. You'd think he'd be happy. You'd be wrong.
The old adage about money not buying happiness has never been truer. Money makes Minor angry. He is thinking about suing his bank. He's already sued an auction house which helped him buy art. And now he's suing an auction house which helped him sell art. When he's not busy filing lawsuits, he occupies himself by posting enraged comments on blogs.
The latest tussle: Minor is suing Christie's for allegedly failing to return seven Richard Prince paintings he had consigned to them. Christie's says his lawsuit has no merit, and it plans to countersue for $10 million plus legal expenses.
If it follows through on the legal threat, Christie's will join Sotheby's, which is already suing Minor for failing to pay for a set of paintings, including Edward Hicks's "Peaceable Kingdom."
Art makes Minor mad. After a spat with Damien Hirst, he removed several of the artist's butterfly tableaux from the walls of Minor Ventures, his San Francisco startup incubator, leaving fist-sized holes in the plaster, according to Portfolio.
So why is Minor spending money on art instead of making it himself? This kind of rage, channeled into creative endeavors, could command high prices even in a depressed market. His Internet comments are a whole new form of literary oeuvre. His work is fresh, surprising, visceral, and inexplicable — everything the jaded art world desires.