An amazing SIFA Fireside supporter (a Birmingham GP) has donated a painting to us, – it’s Miro’s ‘The Astronomer’s Love Song’… ok, not quite! It’s actually a John Myatt picture in the style of Miro, so let us explain.
John Myatt was involved in the biggest art fraud in the UK and served time in Brixton prison for this. He was a song writer and art teacher but when he became a single parent he looked to make more money elsewhere and began to paint copies of famous artists, initially through a legitimate business.
In 1986 a painting of Myatt’s in the style of Albert Gleizes, (one of the founders of Cubism), was valued by Christie’s at £25,000; the person who commissioned the painting gave John 50% and all his money worries disappeared. However the temptation proved too much and he went on to paint 200 more copies for this patron.
In 1993 he decided to stop but two years later he was arrested and sentenced to 12 months in prison, (although released after 4 months).
However John was adamant he would not own up to all his paintings saying that if someone had paid a large amount for a painting he didn’t want to cause upset and hurt by it being revealed as a fake.
John had decided never to paint again; but when his arresting officer asked him to paint a family portrait he relented, and his first original exhibition took place in 2005.
SIFA Fireside will be launching an online auction of our John Myatt picture in the style of Joan Miro ‘The Astronomer’s Love Song’ on 23rd April 2015.