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.
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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.
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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.
If you could own the artwork for any Magic: The Gathering card, what would it be? Please let us know down below in the comments or via Twitter.
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