Near six figure MTG art sales
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These days Chris Rahn sells most of his original paintings on ebay and the better and more important ones fetch him quite a price. Since I've been tracking him, his biggest auction ended in $14,544.99.

 

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that's a nice gig for him. Get paid by WOTC and then sell the original for five figures. Good double dip.

 

Any comment on the vintage stuff? Do you follow that market?

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Lots of views, no comments. Where's Caira when you need him?

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I decided not to spread myself too thin, so I gave up trying to get into the vintage MtG etc. art market. There're some specific artists I like who I keep track of but that's it.

 

And by the way, the Black Lotus sale is not really new, it happened in 2012 and the article is from the same time.

 

Maybe this is a good place to let New Yorkers (and residents of the greater area) know that Donato Giancola is having an open studio this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). There're always sketches, drawings and full paintings for sale, and even if you're not interested in buying anything, having the opportunity to see the works of a real master in person is enough. Details here.

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Fascinating, thanks for posting.

 

I got into the MTG art a few years ago, not having played the game (so no nostalgia involved). Just like the art (which is a refreshing change of pace for me)..

 

 

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Details here.

 

 

Awesome, thanks!

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I don't make enough money to buy original MTG art, or at least the ones I would want. Heck, when I go to Gen Con a number of those prints are pretty expensive too. After talking to a number of artists there is less and less original painted art as time goes on, but I am sure you all have figured that out.

 

I think it is real neat you can get the old original art and am surprised that Wrath of God did not fetch at least 100k, it is pretty iconic as far as MTG goes and the amount of times it has been reprinted.

 

That art convention is about 3 hours away from me, it may be worth going to for fun.

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After talking to a number of artists there is less and less original painted art as time goes on, but I am sure you all have figured that out.

 

 

Yeah, a lot of the art nowadays is created digitally (though enough traditional painters to keep OA collectors happy).

 

Wonder if the strong sales results for physical OA will entice the digital guys to make the move back? hm

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After talking to a number of artists there is less and less original painted art as time goes on, but I am sure you all have figured that out.

 

 

Yeah, a lot of the art nowadays is created digitally (though enough traditional painters to keep OA collectors happy).

 

Wonder if the strong sales results for physical OA will entice the digital guys to make the move back? hm

I know you're referring specifically to MTG artists, but extending to all artists...I'd say only if there is a perception that doing so would yield more return (not just monetarily but career/portfolio-wise) long-term by working slower with dry times and all the hassles of physical media (shooting them, etc). I don't know what the current deadline pressure is (if any) but we all know the Frazetta story about the oil on board that 'cracked' as Frank was attempting to speed the drying process...in his oven. This one is in Doc Dave's Profiles auction :) A younger artist making his bones may care a lot more about turnarounds and building out his resume as fast as possible, pleasing the most people possible across the industry(ies?), and catch up with making great money selling physicals later?

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'Tarzan at the Earth's Core,' 1962, 18" x 11".

 

I remember that one being offered in Russ Cochran's Comic Art Auction # 56, December 2, 1998. I guess Doc Dave was the buyer directly from Russ?

 

Russ explained:

 

" . . . The painting was completely finished and ready to sign when Frazetta decided that he could make the paint dry faster if he placed it in a warm oven. Not only did the paint dry faster, the illustration board developed a curl. In an attempt to straighten it by flexing the board backwards, a crack developed in the illustration board which runs horizontally through Tarzan's armpit and his right knee. He hurriedly painted a second version of the painting to send to Ace for their cover. He mounted the original painting on Masonite and touched up the crack himself, also adding colour to the sky area. He signed the painting at lower right and gave it to his friend Vern Coriell."

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Lots of views, no comments. Where's Saddam Caira when you need him?

 

;)

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I don't see the digital artists working on MtG and the like ever going back to traditional. It seems to me, and I'll caveat that I have no art background/education so this is just my impression and I could be totally wrong, that most of the images involve the type of special effects that are hard to replicate in traditional means (and I don't even know how easily it would be for artists that only ever worked digitally to learn the requisite skills), certainly not in any efficient manner given that most MtG cards are churned out in a manner of hours or couple of days.

 

In addition, unlike comic book art where we grew up with the distinction between the b&w original art and the colored published pages, I don't see people that collect MtG art buying original art that doesn't look like the printed image (certainly not for the same prices).

 

Finally, the ability to sell original art seems to me to be less of an incentive in this market, where the secondary source of revenue is selling prints of the card art (almost every artist sells on their website prints (limited or not) of their full card inventory). In the case of comic book art no one buys prints of the original art. Most of the prints you see at comic book cons are either of prior popular commissions or art specifically created to be made into a print and sold at cons; you rarely see prints of the original art for published work and at most you can find a print of a published cover with the logo and other obstructing elements stripped away.

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^ speaking of cool illustrations.

 

 

FYI for those not aware but the art from the original set was for sale at a gallery in Kirkland WA in the early 90s. Some pieces sold legitimately (for around $250 ea btw) including some of the best pieces. However most of them were stolen by the gallery owner who just vacated the space and took the art with him (or so it is presumed). So there is a long. List of stolen OA from the first set that has never surfaced to this day.

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Lots of views, no comments. Where's Saddam Caira when you need him?

 

;)

 

He did have some great taste in art

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^ speaking of cool illustrations.

 

 

FYI for those not aware but the art from the original set was for sale at a gallery in Kirkland WA in the early 90s. Some pieces sold legitimately (for around $250 ea btw) including some of the best pieces. However most of them were stolen by the gallery owner who just vacated the space and took the art with him (or so it is presumed). So there is a long. List of stolen OA from the first set that has never surfaced to this day.

Interesting highlights. Is there a more fleshed out version of the story I can read?

 

As to the other poster re: special effects and ability to create same in the physical space...I'd argue it (anything) can be done...but whether the young kids have the skill, talent, patience to learn...a whole 'nother thing. Those that do take that route may find their artistic experience that much richer (like learning classical approaches to music, though your passion/intention is power chord heavy metal). There is definitely, absolutely a big difference between working digitally and doing the same physically. Typically a physical painter can more easily transition to digital than the other way around. Dry times, thinner, extenders, etc, working wet-in-wet, so many other things in the real world that require a knowledge of how your media and support interact to fully realize the potential of physical art. But if $15k numbers are floating around in enough quantity, I'm sure some will give it a go...that's good money in a world (USA) where the average household (two earners) income is only $50k!

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I think you just had to click a link. here's the article

 

 

Original Magic Art sold by Daniel Chang

Photo courtesy of Daniel Chang, used with permission.

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5 photos

The original artwork for the Magic: The Gathering card Wrath of God has been sold for a whopping $80,000. It's only dwarfed by another recent sale of Magic: The Gathering original artwork of Plateau for $92.500. At least that's the claim from it's recent owner Daniel Chang. We caught up with Chang to learn more about the these two sales and his new website VintageMagic.com, which features a marketplace where collector's can buy and sell the game's original art, sketches, and more.

 

Alpha Plateau art found

Photo courtesy of Daniel Chang, used with permission.

Related: Alternate art Ugin, The Spirit Dragon sells for $12,550

 

When and where did you acquire the original art of Wrath of God? Is there a unique story behind how you became the owner of it?

 

I acquired the Wrath of God Original Artwork at Eternal Weekend 2013. The piece was previously owned by a European collector who actually had several pieces of rare Alpha Artwork. The European collector purchased the piece from the Wizards Gallery in Kirkland, WA back in 1993/1994.

 

 

How about for Plateau?

I acquired the Plateau in 2014 from a private collector. The private collector owned the piece since 1993 and purchased it from the Wizards Gallery in Kirkland, WA. There is an interesting story with the Plateau, as it was the "lost" Plateau at one point. Wizards printed Plateau for the Alpha, Beta, Unlimited Core Sets but for Revised the digital image was "lost." The original was in a private collection and from a time perspective the only solution was Reimagined a new Plateau. The result was the image from Cornelius Brudi - who a freelancer at the time. The Revised or 3rd Edition Core Set Featured the Reimaged version of the Plateau.

 

Related: Alternate art Black Lotus painting sells for $16,099

 

 

When did you begin collecting Magic: The Gathering art? What card's art was your first purchase?

 

In 1994, I was in high school at the time, my friends were playing a game during lunch. Magic: The Gathering was the game, and immediately was drawn to the art. Cards like the Force of Nature, Vesuvan Doppleganger, and Wrath of God, to me were pieces of art on cards. I asked my friends, why are you not playing with these cards with sleeves? They laughed, "cause its a game." I started to play but I always had a passion for the art and collecting.

 

Fast forward to 2009 when I started collecting & investing full-time as a business I always thought all the Magic: The Gathering art was sold. Since the game was back in 1993, I was thinking there is NO way any art is left from the vintage years. It was during Jan. 2009 when I purchased a significant collection that had Alpha/Beta/Unlimited Sets/Boxes, and other Wizard of the Coast rarities. In the collection there was everything from Misprints, test prints and Magic: The Gathering Artwork. At first, I was thinking to myself, these must be prints. In fact, they were all originals. Pieces such as Savannah, Dandan, Hurr Jackal, Repentant Blacksmith, City in a Bottle, and several others were in the collection. To this day, I remember the feeling I got when I saw the art. It was like a dream come true, as I always wanted to own some Magic: The Gathering art.

 

From that day forward, I was on the search for Magic art. Today, I collect art from artists of the past and present. My all-time favorite Vintage Magic Artist are Drew Tucker & Rob Alexander. Modern Artists that are my favorite are Chris Rahn, Matt Stewart, Lucas Graciano and Volkan Baga. I have to say collecting Magic: The Gathering is one of the most incredible memories of my life. I'm truly blessed to be a part of a community of artists, collectors, and players who truly have a passion for some of the best art in the world.

 

 

How many unique Magic: The Gathering original art paintings are currently in your possession?

 

To be honest, I don't know! If you count original sketches (which I considered original art also), it would be over a thousand. But I don't have a firm number. I would say the gallery on our new website will feature a comprehensive inventory of pieces available for viewing, purchase or sold.

 

 

Your new website, VintageMagic.com, focuses on Magic: The Gathering art and artists. Would you please care to elaborate a bit on that?

 

Vintagemagic.com will feature the only online art gallery on the web featuring exhibitions of original artwork from Magic: The Gathering. The visualization I like to share with people is that our art gallery will be like a museum - we will have permanent & featured exhibitions.

 

Permanent exhibitions will be a collection of works with various themes. Themes include, "Exploration of Landscapes of Magic: The Gathering" and "Iconic Vintage & Legacy Magic Art." There also will be permanent exhibitions of works from artists such as Mark Poole & Drew Tucker. Featured Exhibitions will feature collections of guest artists as well as themes that maybe art we are loaning versus we own permanently.

 

Also, our gallery is the only one that showcases Magic: The Gathering artists in what the did in the past, present and future. We will have articles, interviews, video coverage, art show events, and other artist related topics to share with the community.

 

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