Eccleshall art forger John Myatt, who has now forged a legitimate career as an artist, is marking the launch of Sky Sports 5 - the new home of European football on Sky –by depicting five of the finest European footballers in the style of one of their most famous national painters.
Mr Myatt's one-off portraits of some of Europe’s most exciting footballers, will be unveiled at a gallery in London's Mayfair as the new Sky Sports 5 channel begins broadcasting on August 12 4.
The line-up of players, who will all feature on Sky Sports 5 in the coming months, includes; Liverpool FC’s Steven Gerrard , FC Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta, Juventus FC’s Andrea Pirlo, FC Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. All painted in the style of an artistic great such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci.
The collection of portraits includes:Andrea Pirlo in the style of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Andrés Iniesta in the style of Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Dora Maar, Arjen Robben in the style of Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, Cristiano Ronaldo in the style of Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro’s Portrait of Professor Antero de Quental and Steven Gerrard in the style of Joshua Reynolds’ Portrait of General John Burgoyne
Starting with the UEFA Super Cup, Sky Sports 5 will screen up to 600 live European football matches featuring some of the best players, the best teams and best competitions. New and existing Sky Sports customers can get the new channel Sky Sports 5 as part of their Sky Sports package, and as a further bonus they can also get two years’ free Sky Broadband Unlimited.
Mr Myatt said: “I’ve spent my professional life recreating the work of some of the world’s finest artists, so I was delighted to partner with Sky on this project, to depict five of Sky Sports 5’s most talented footballers. While I’ve recreated the likes of Picasso before, it was exciting to work on a new challenge and master another artist’s style such as Joshua Reynolds.
“Using such iconic faces as the basis for my portraits was great fun –we are used to seeing talents like Gerrard and Ronaldo on our TV screens but we’ve never seen them quite like this before.”
The paintings will be on display at Castle Fine Art gallery in Mayfair from Tuesday 12th August to Friday 12th September. Entrance is free.
Gary Hughes, Sky Sports Head of Football, said: “For lots of people football is an art form and Sky Sports 5 will be the place to watch the skill, flair and vision of Europe’s finest players each and every week. We wanted to do something different to recognise the unique footballing artistry that will be on show and felt John’s work would perfectly capture the spirit of the channel and the beautiful game.”
The introduction of Sky Sports 5 increases the Sky Sports offering to seven channels and will be the home of European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Coppa Italia and Copa del Rey for Sky Sports viewers, plus a host of other European football programming including Revista de la Liga and UEFA Champions League Weekly.