On Sunday June 6th, 2021, the original painting for Dauthi Voidwalker by Sidharth Chaturvedi sold via auction on the MTG Art Market for $17,000, a record price for a work by the artist.

Dauthi Voidwalker by Sidharth Chaturvedi, oils on unstretched canvas, 16” x 20”

Dauthi Voidwalker by Sidharth Chaturvedi is a work of oils on unstretched canvas (for ease of shipping from Germany where he lives) and measures 16 inches by 20 inches. It was commissioned for Magic’s just released summer set Modern Horizons 2, and breathes life into one of Magic’s earliest designs, the Dauthi from Rath.

The auction was run by Vorthos Mike acting as agent for the artist, as he often does for newly released pieces from Chaturvedi, and the opening bid was set at $5,000. Vorthos Mike said it would start at no less, because at the $5,000, he himself was an instant-buyer!

The work sat quietly, as a Dauthi Voidwalker would, until the time was perfectly right. Bidding began in earnest on the penultimate day, and continued through the approaching hours of the final day. At the one hour to go mark, the work sat at $8,000, but was far from finished.

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Two public bidders and several private bidders battled hard for the work as it moved into five digits and surpassed all expectations. But it would be none of these collectors in the end, and instead a new buyer to the auction entering the fray with a $15,000 bid while already in soft close overtime! They would place but a handful of bids and eventually win the day at $17,000!

Sid also provided the brief for the card:

“We’d like an updated look for a Dauthi rogue, a creature who is partially made of shadows and is forced to exist in shadows at all time. Start with the inspiration but design a rogue with a leaner face, hood, and more shadows incorporated into his design. We like to see him peering out from behind a tree or rock as a callback to the reference.”

“The part I jumped on was ‘made of shadows,'” he said. “I’ve seen Dauthi that are dark, spooky, spiky, smoky, full-on eldritch horrors, but not one that really leaned into this idea in a visual way. And that’s for obvious reasons. How do you paint the absence of light and still make it a visible creature? I used the line ‘forced to exist in the shadows’ as a clue.”

“I thought a real, solid form might be visible in the dark-just barely-but that they turn thin and transparent when in bright light,” Sid continued. “I had the idea of him sneaking up on you in a swamp, of you suddenly turning your light on the rustling noise so that arm of his that’s reaching around the tree turns to just a cast shadow. And, of course, you see the bright moon through his head.”

“The transparent parts were directly painted as they would look through a shadow. No glazing or anything fancy.”

What a painting, and what a reward.

Stay tuned to Hipsters of the Coast for more Art Market Minutes and record-breaking auction recaps of original Magic: the Gathering artworks.

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