The man behind what has been dubbed the biggest art fraud of the 20th century is coming to the Costa del Sol in February to talk about his life and work.
John Myatt is said to have painted around 200 forgeries that were so good they fooled the top connoisseurs, galleries and auction houses in the process. In 1988 he was found guilty of fraud and served four months of a one-year sentence. But there was never any doubt of his talent as a painter and a researcher of masters like Chagall and Matisse.
He started by advertising ‘Genuine Fakes’ but the man who became his co-conspirator re-sold some of these early works as the real thing and so the audacious endeavour began, with his pictures being sold in London, Paris and New York for years without arousing suspicion.
When he was arrested in 1995 he quickly confessed, explaining how he had mixed emulsion paint with K-Y Jelly, to fake original pigments.
These days John Myatt continues to produce versions of masterpieces which are, however, sold and clearly identified as what they are, remarkably clever copies. These are highly prized, some selling for many thousands of pounds.
Before turning to painting as a career, John Myatt was an art teacher and, for a time, a songwriter. Today as well as painting, he has had a television series about his techniques. He also assists the authorities in exposing fraudulent works of art.
John Myatt is coming to southern Spain to address members of Benahavis Decorative & Fine Art Society at TikiTano Restaurant, Estepona on Saturday, 16th February. The following day he will attend a new art exhibition at the Villa Padierna Hotel.