When trying to raise his two young children as a single dad and working as an art teacher in the 1980s, John Myatt became involved in what Scotland Yard described as “the biggest art fraud of the 20th century" where he painted fakes passed off as the master's original work.
Knowing what he had done was a terrible crime, John Myatt assisted the police with their investigation and was eventually handed a lenient 12-month sentence for Art Fraud, released after four months for good behaviour.
Following his release, John swore he would never paint again, but one of the arresting officers in the police investigation convinced him to revisit his easel he began to realise he could make it as a proper artist. He was signed by Washington Green Fine Art in 2006 and now paints ‘Legitimate Fakes’ in the style of the masters.
“When I paint in the style of one of the greats…Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh…I adopt his or her techniques and search for the inspiration behind their view of the world. Then, and only then, do I start to paint a ‘Legitimate Fake’.”
Note: We have a dedicated John Myatt Exhibition on display on the top floor of the gallery running until Saturday 31st October 2015.