A competent artist who never got the breaks, John Myatt might have remained a footnote on the page of art history. Left alone with two young children to support he had to work as an art teacher to pay the bills. In 1986 he placed a classified ad in Private Eye, '19th and 20th century fakes for £200' and a perfectly legitimate business venture was born. His materials were unorthodox - he used household emulsion mixed with K-Y jelly to add body and fluidity to his brush strokes - but the results were pleasing.
He rapidly painted his way through 20th century art history but in 1999 was sentenced to 12 months for art fraud and eventually served 6 months in Brixton Prison. Upon his release the arresting officer (from Arts & Antiques Squad, Scotland Yard) contacted him and became his first customer for one of John Myatt's 'Genuine Fakes'.