Terence Spies gets his 15 minutes

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As I previously mentioned, my friend Terence bought this, uh, artwork, which sells itself on eBay. Well, Terence has hit the big time with an article in the NYT magazine.
Spies, who is the chief technology officer at Voltage Security in Palo Alto, Calif., describes himself as a collector of "baffling contemporary art." (He mentions the almost monochrome panels of Anne Appleby and Molly Springfield's meticulous drawings of photocopies.) He says another collector once advised him to buy art that "people have a reaction to - good or bad." And "A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter" has elicited reactions ranging from "You're really crazy" to "You're slightly crazy." He's O.K. with that. It "sets people off," he continues, "because it's not even clear what you own."

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The new opening minimum bid is calculated to cover shipping and other overhead, so the seller won't lose money, but this setup also limits how much the seller can make should the piece appreciate in value over time. And of course it's possible Spies can own the piece indefinitely - if it fails to become more valuable. "It was totally not an investment," he says, cheerfully. That's good, because as of this writing, "A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter," priced at $6,858, has attracted no bidders.

For reference, a full-page ad in the Times Magazine runs $90k.

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