John Myatt: My name is John Myatt. I live in North Staffordshire, and I was arrested for art fraud in 1995, and was sentenced to 12 months for ‘conspiracy to defraud the art establishment’. The newspapers have described me as one of the greatest art forgers of the 20th century. I’m not so sure about that really. There is a mindset that says authenticity is absolutely everything – unless you can actually trace the item back to Gauguin’s studio, it doesn’t matter. Well, I don’t agree with that. The reason we’re here today, of course, is because we’re going to go to Liverpool and I’m going to see Glenn Brown’s paintings for the very first time. Glenn Brown refers to existing works and existing artists, and incorporates what he finds in his own painting. What I want to see is a display of skill or wit, or preferably both. … and the dog’s just farted. That was a really massive one. Did you hear it? Flipping heck, Henry! [Arrives at Tate Liverpool] Good grief. Oh, good Lord. I think it’s fabulously witty. You know, the guy can really paint. That’s what’s nice about this – that someone is having a little chat with you about what it’s like to be a painter. [laughs] No, can’t get it. If you can’t see where the original reference comes from, I think then you’re a bit lost. What I love about this is the way he’s left this foot here, unresolved, because it’s actually also reminding you of the actual ways and means that you deploy to achieve this kind of thing. I’ve never been a great admirer of Salvador Dali, frankly. He’s always kind of… you know, has a massive appeal to sixth-formers. I think he really was, actually, a complete charlatan. Director, off-camera: One charlatan calling another one a charlatan? JM: I’m not a charlatan. I mean, I’m not pretending to be something I’m not. Laurence Sillars: The root of every painting that he makes is a work by another artist. Rather than working from originals, he looks purely at reproductions, so images in books and on the internet, in postcards. But what he’s interested in is how disloyal that reproduction is to the original. I think every painter has in mind previous artists’ works or renderings of something when they are creating a new image. JM: I was just thinking – you know – trying very hard to find a down side to all this, really. One I could think of was, if you didn’t know much about – is that Portrait of Saskia? – it’s somewhere between her and a self-portrait by Rembrandt – then you wouldn’t get the joke. LS: Well, you don’t need to know this comes from a Rembrandt. You recognise it as a very traditional type of portraiture. Everyone has seen an image like this somewhere. It doesn’t matter who painted it. It’s a modification of something that you do kind of recognise. And that instant recognition draws you in, and again you form a reading of that. And then all the other wacky stuff takes over. Have you noticed what he does with the eyes, in one of the portraits that he paints? JM: Yes. LS: There’s a pretty severe case of cataracts. JM: Yes. [laughs] LS: In many ways it’s to bring you back to the fact that you’re looking at a painting. If you see the eyes, it’s the first thing you go to… It’s a connection with the person rather than the surface of the paint… JM: That’s true. LS: …so it kind of blocks out that potential… JM: I’d love to meet him, I really would. Are these for sale? LS: Most of them have come straight out of collections… if you get in quick… JM: No, I’ll fake one, that’s what I’ll do! [laughs] Oh, gosh, I don’t know whether I could!