"By God, he could really compose an image," says John Myatt of the American realist painter Edward Hopper. The 20th-century artist - whose relatable depictions of urban scenes moved audiences with their portrayal of the loneliness and strangeness of familiar city life - has become the latest painter in John's collectible series of 'genuine fakes'.
Named after John's now-infamous ad in Private Eye magazine for convincing replicas of classical works, this innovative series showcases the talent that led to his supporting role in one of the most sophisticated art frauds in history. Alongside an upcoming feature-length film about his incredible story, Genuine Fakes: The Hopper Collection reflects the enduring interest in the artist, who has appeared on television shows including Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge and Fake or Fortune.
Hopper's cinematic aesthetic - characterised by the juxtaposition of light and darkness, and a theatrical voyeurism that inspired the Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock - is captured in the saturated colours of the signed limited edition prints. Created using the fine art giclée process, the hand-embellished canvasses are presented in the same style frame as Hopper, which has also been finished with gold foil and lightly distressed for an authentic vintage feel.
Amongst the selection are interpretations of some of Hopper's best-known works, including 'Nighthawks' (1942) and 'New York Movie' (1939), which are currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art respectively. John adds: "Hopper places the actors on the stage, but it is up to the viewer to write the script. Your personal interpretation of the 'story' in the painting – what has just happened, what will happen next – is up to you."
To find out more about the collection or John's original artworks, get in touch. Our exclusive selection includes paintings in the style of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and many more.
Many of Edward Hopper's original paintings were created in response to the aftermath of World War One and World War Two. His most famous work, 'Nighthawks', was created following Japan's surprise attack on the U.S. naval base Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is thought by many that his solitary figures and themes of loneliness and resignation symbolised the feelings of American citizens towards the rest of the world in the inter-war and post-war years.
John says: "The paintings are all 'set' pieces; I’m sure Hopper had the idea for 'Nighthawks' before he found the café that he used. So the paintings are contrived to serve the artist's purpose. It's a kind of conceptual art that highlights the individual person and their experience of life in an industrialised and mechanised society. It also shows the alienation of the mid-20th-century urban life, particularly in North America and New York."
Hopper's impact on the art world cannot be overstated: he influenced both the Pop Art and New Realism movements, and artists including Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning have cited him as an inspiration. In 2005, the street artist Banksy created a four-metre-long satirical oil painting based on 'Nighthawks', while in 2018, Hopper's 'Chop Suey' artwork sold at Christie's for $91.9 million.
Glyn Washington, the co-founder of our publisher, Washington Green, visited John at his home in Staffordshire to explore the inspirations behind the collection and their mutual admiration of Edward Hopper. Discover more exclusive behind-the-scenes videos on our YouTube channel.
"Above all, Edward Hopper was an image maker; hence the cinematic quality of his work. It's almost as if his paintings were stills from a movie."
02/09/2021Featured on the Waterstones Exclusive Edition of Billy's upcoming autobiography, this brand-new graphic is inspired by a rock 'n' roll 'Teddy Boy' figure. Available individually or as a four-piece set, this is the perfect gift for any Billy Connolly fan.
09/03/2021After fooling experts at Christie’s and Sotheby’s with his incredible replicas, the artist turned his back on crime and now creates 'genuine fakes'. For his Spring/Summer 2021 collection, he took on Claude Monet and Marc Chagall.
25/08/2021We're delighted to present Heart of Darkness, the new instalment of The Dark Knights series by Robert Oxley. Available online and in galleries now.
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