John Myatt was the artist behind “the biggest art fraud of the 20th century”, for which he served a prison sentence and now creates legitimate fakes for the commercial art market.
After separating from his wife in the mid-80s, Myatt gave up teaching to spend more time with his children, and attempted to make a living by painting original works in the style of well known artists. He placed an advertisement in Private Eye magazine which read “Genuine fakes. Nineteenth and twentieth century paintings from £150.”
It was at this time that Myatt met fraudster John Drewe who commissioned him to paint hundreds of late 19th and early to mid 20th century artists, such as Giacometti, Monet, Modigliani, Dufy, Matisse and Picasso to be sold as original paintings. After selling over two hundred fakes, John Myatt and John Drewe were eventually arrested and sent to prison for fraud.
Since his release, Myatt has received commissions to paint portraits and now paints clear copies of other artists, signed with his signature JMGF (John Mayer Genuine Fakes). A successful artist in his own right, a John Myatt painting can be sell for as much as £45,000 and his limited edition prints are some of the most sought after on the market. He also works alongside law enforcement to help expose fraudulent artworks.