Portrait of John Myatt, Artist and Art Forger, by Travis Simpkins
Recently, artist Travis Simpkins created a portrait illustration of John Myatt: artist, teacher and convicted art forger. Together with John Drewe, John Myatt perpetrated what has been described as “the biggest art fraud of the 20th Century.” Prior to his arrest in 1995, Myatt created about 200 forgeries of works by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Ben Nicholson, Jean Dubuffet, Marc Chagall and others. Scotland Yard has only recovered 80 of the phony works, with the rest still floating around the art market. The criminal exploits of Myatt and Drewe are highlighted in the book, “Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art” by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. Today, John Myatt sells his paintings (made in the style of other artists) as “legitimate fakes” and host a popular BBC art instruction program.