On December 2, 2021, the set of five Planetary Basic Land paintings by Adam Paquette from Magic: the Gathering were sold on the MTG Art Market for $56,000.

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Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain Forest, oil on paper mounted on Aluminium-Dibond, each 35x50cm (13.8” x19.7″)

These five paintings by Paquette are each a work of oil on paper mounted on Aluminum-Dibond measuring 35 centimeters by 50 centimeters, or roughly 14 inches by 20 inches. They were commissioned for Magic’s next Un-set, Unfinity, which releases on April Fool’s Day, 2022. There is a long tradition of unique, full-art basic lands within this subseries, and these are the latest applications, and in a brand new, never before seen location.

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The set was posted by Paquette on the MTG Art Market on November 30th, and the artist stated he would be fielding offers until at least the following day, December 1st, 2022. Several updates were posted as offers on the full set were placed; it would be a high offer of $56,000 for the five, placed the following morning, that would plant the flag and land these paintings.

I was able to catch up with both artist and collector for this Art Market Minute, and here’s what they had to say.

I asked Adam what it felt like to revisit an Un-set (he did the full art lands for Unsanctioned), alongside the challenges of the literally uncharted world of space. He said:

“It was interesting to tackle a conventional, old-school look at space exploration through a Magic lens, since they occupy pretty different parts of my imagination. I found a lot of inspiration from artists like Moebius and Dean who brought a more mystical and organic angle to sci-fi, as well as an obscure book from my childhood: Puzzle Master, ‘The Planet of Terror’ illustrated by Alastair Graham.

“Concepting the planetary environments for this set allowed me to abstract the values of Magic’s color domains into an unregulated design direction, which means I get to think about what those colors mean to me as an environment designer, free from the confines of lore or story.”

As he mentioned, Paquette was also responsible for the concept design of these environments, and this hopefully won’t be the last we can hear about what went into creating these extra-terrestrial places.

I was also able to speak with the buyer of this incredible suite, and had to know what drew them to add these five stellar works to their collection. They said:

“A full cycle of lands is a grail for most MTG collectors and full art, Un-set lands are particularly special. Add to that the cross genre appeal of these pieces and their sheer aesthetic beauty and they were impossible to resist.”

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These works join an impressive collection of art ranging from Alpha to present, and I’m looking forward to seeing them on the wall of their new home.

Unfinity from Magic: The Gathering releases on April 1, 2022, so stay tuned to Hipsters of the Coast for more out of this world artwork to come early next year!

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