John Myatt, sent to prison for painting 'old masters' which fooled experts and sold for millions The guy behind it planted fake documentation in archives of big public galleries, and got 6 years after his wife dobbed him in after an acrimonious split up. Myatt got 12 month sentence but only served 4 months, spent mostly doing pics for the guards. When he came out, the guy who'd arrested him commissioned a family portrait for £1500; then TV program on how he did fakes; then American gallery ran exhibition of his fakes, now he makes fortune selling real fakes.

("If a fake is good enough to fool experts, then it's good enough to give the rest of us pleasure, even insight," the art critic Blake Gopnik wrote. Fakes)


In 2004 Banksy painted two life-sized policemen kissing on the wall outside the Prince Albert pub in Brighton. Not everyone liked it. In 2006 two men drove up in a plumber's van and covered it in black paint. They were caught on CCTV and prosecuted, but the painting was destroyed. But the barman from the pub did an impressive job of repainting it, and the painting was protected by a sheet of perspex. In 2014 the painting was sold. A specialist restorer removed the paint from the wall and applied it to a canvas. It was then sold at auction in Miami for over half a million dollars. A painting copied by the pub barman. A replica was painted in the same plac eon the pub wall and another sheet of perspex put over it. And that is what the tour parties visit nd photograph today.



Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Few modern artists will, in his view, endure. "Not all that much of it will last - that would be very extraordinary because no one would have time to study or look at it, there's so much that's being produced."

He understands the appeal of Damien Hirst, who has made millions from his pickled sharks and his diamond-encrusted skull. "I think he created extraordinary images. Some of them pass one pretty important test, which is it's quite difficult to forget them."

If all you're trying to do is figure out what people want and you make it for them, that's not art. You're just a shoemaker.

Most people are reticent about giving their opinion on art, but not when it's portraits. Then everyone has an opinion.

A well-known artist was asked if he had any advice to the young artists behind him. His response was classic - geniuses don't need it and amateurs don't listen.

Art is not what you see but what you make others see.

Art is not the bread but the wine of life.

The question of common sense is always what is it good for? - a question which would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage.

More Quotes about Art


Anthony Gormley, the sculptor who made the Angel of the North, has as his latest project Another Place on a 2 mile stretch of stony beach near Liverpool. 100 naked male statues facing out to sea - most submerged at high tide; wind and rain eroding rest - some people come to contemplate man's struggle with environment, some come to stare out to horizon with them, others just come to paint the naughty bits bright yellow - 600,000 visitors in 15 months.

Banksy famous for smuggling his art works (usually subversive) into public galleries - most famous was to sneak into Br Museum dressed as an attendant and add to an installation of primitive cave art a pic of a caveman pushing a supermarket trolley (archivists decided to see the funny side by adding it to their collection.

Picasso visited a local cabinet-maker to commission a wardrobe for his house. To show him what he wanted, Picasso scribbled a quick sketch on a bit of paper. "How much will it cost?" he asked. "Nothing" said the cabinet maker "Just sign the drawing."

Andy Warhol very commercial - did portraits of anyone - charged $25,000 per 100 sq cm.

Lucien Freud, a prolific womaniser, fathered at least 15 children. Remarkably, three of Freud's children were born in a single year - 1961. Bella Freud, the fashion designer, was born to writer Bernardine Coverley, Isobel Boyt to Suzy Boyt and Lucy Freud to McAdam.

Many old paintings are a lot different to what they were originally. Most have faded or darkened as pigments aged. The original colours can be deduced by direct methods (often bits hidden beneath frame) or indirect (molecular analysis to determine and replicate original paints). In other paintings the appearance has been changed by earlier attempts to clean. A modern simulation provides a much more accurate version of what the artist originally created, but of course is nowhere near the value of the (degenerated) original.

Viewers of Norway's NRK television station were treated last weekend to a 12-hour broadcast of a fire burning in a fireplace. To make the broadcast slightly more entertaining, specialists in firewood provided expert commentary. The programme was inspired by a bestselling book. Lars Mytting, author of Solid Wood: All about Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood, said: "We received about 60 text messages from people complaining about the stacking in the programme. Fifty per cent complained that the bark was facing up, and the rest complained it was facing down. One thing that really divides Norway is bark."

Photographer Stephen Marty Welch said he liked to ask subjects off the wall questions to catch an unguarded expression. Asked one guy "Expecting any unusual Father's Day cards this year? Any kids you don't know about?" Hence the stunned expression on portrait.

German art student visiting China's terracotta army put on a dusty costume and hat and climbed into pit with 1200 other warriors. Stood ramrod stiff and unblinking; took frustrated police 3 hours to find him.

Most "Chimpanzee art works" only exist because the keeper removed the canvas at the right time - otherwise the chimp will continue to apply paint until there is nothing to see but a muddy blob.

Top level musical instruments like Stradivarius etc are fetching astronomical prices, putting them out of reach of most musicians. So innovative deals - syndicates buy the instruments as investments, musician gets usage rights in return for paying insurance premiums (usually 1% value) and giving concerts for the patrons.

More Anecdotes about Art


Scholars analysed 52 paintings of the most famous dinner party in history from the last 1000 years to figure out how portion sizes have increased. 52 Last Suppers

Sometimes the best intentions go astray, and make for the most memorable moments The Least Successful Stage Act

One client bought a Picasso for about 60 million at auction in New York. He decided to ship it to his house in Sao Paulo. Just before shipping he found out that there was a $24 million import tax. He decided it would be cheaper to buy an apartment in New York and hang it there. And so he did. Storing expensive art

The antidote to the bloated, self-indulgent arthouse movie: the 15 second film.To qualify films must be 15 seconds in length, with ten seconds for opening and closing credits. We've made documentaries, comedies and two spaghetti westerns. The 15 second film

Damien Hirst has changed art world forever Damien Hirst

In October, 'Ornamental Despair,' a 1994 painting by the British artist Glenn Brown, sold at auction in London for $5.7 million. The painting is almost an exact replica of a science-fiction illustration that Chris Foss created for a men's magazine in the nineteen-seventies. Copies

More Articles on Art

WHAT IF .....


Roy Lichtenstein

The comics he used

Richard Prince

It could be the easiest $90,000 you ever earn. Simply scroll through Instagram for a few hours, pick some images you like, print them out, and exhibit them in a gallery. Not only will you wow the New York art world, dah-ling, but you could make a tidy sum in the process. At least, that's all it appears to have taken for New York artist Richard Prince to make tens of thousands of dollars.

Prince is notorious for creating art that draws heavily on the work of others. In 2013 he was victorious on appeal in a court case after he was sued by another artist, Patrick Cariou, who said Prince had stolen his photographs for use in a show more


Camera Obscura and photo realism

Art Letters


David Hockney describes Picasso at age of 90, standing naked, painting gigantic female clitorises (can you imagine that in an OAP home?) Hockney On Art

Salvadore Dali convinced everyone that he was a success, and so he became successful How Many Friends Does One Person Need?

Lucian Freud was a wild and reckless gambler in his youth - he once owed half a million to the Kray brothers and cancelled a show because he didn't want them turning up - and often paid off bookmakers with paintings. One of them, Alfie McLean (portrayed as 'The Big Man'), ended up owning 25 Freuds. Breakfast With Lucian

The ability of fake art to humble the experts is irresistible. Forged:Why Fakes Are the Great Art of Our Age

We actually think real Picasso is aesthetically better than an exact duplicate. Can only be called snobbery bc you're applying a false standard. It's not rational - if you liked a painting when you thought it was a Renoir, why shd you like it less when it turns out to be by Joe Bloggs? How Pleasure Works

Marina Abramovic conceptual art show at MOMA NY where she sat on a chair at a small table in the middle of the huge atrium, with an empty chair facing her. She sat in the chair without moving or taking a break, for the full seven and a half hours the show was open, and for the entire eleven week run. Visitors could, if they wished, sit in the chair opposite her. They could stay for as long or as short a time as they liked, but they had to be quiet and still. People queued around the block for a chance to sit. Some stayed only a minute or two, one or two stayed for the full seven and a half hours, to the mounting fury of those waiting in the queue. What Are You Looking At?

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Interesting Projects

Jesus had A Sister Pills


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IMAGES (Street Art)

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IMAGES (Body Art)

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Songs - the poetry of modern life

Gimme a silver gimme a gold
Make it a million for when I get old
Art for arts sake
Money for Gods sake

More Art Songs


There once was a sculptor named Phidias
Whose manners in art were invidious
He carved Aphrodite
Without any nightie
Which startled the ultra fastidious.

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