“It is the paradox of art that artifice is often the best way to depict reality, fiction the best way to challenge conventional ideas of what we think of as ‘the truth’. Most people are happy to think that this is the way it is. But it really isn’t. Who knows the truth of anything?” (Mike Snelle).
The Connor Brothers’ best-known works offer a playful twist on the conventions of pulp fiction cover art, accompanied by words from the world’s greatest poets, cynics and wits. These satirical juxtapositions of cliché and brilliance strike a chord with the modern age. Thought provoking and ironic, they invite us to think about the difference between appearance and reality, between what we see, what we think we see, and what we want to see.
This obsession with truth and fiction is the golden thread that runs throughout the life and work of the Connor Brothers and is particularly relevant in the current climate of fake news, post-truth and social media. They themselves started out as a fiction as in reality they are British artists Mike Snelle and James Golding. 'The Connor Brothers' intimal backstory was presented as innocent twins who had emerged traumatised from a Californian cult and were struggling to make sense of the world through their art. Their work captured the imagination of the artworld and was further enhanced when they revealed their true identity.
Thought provoking and ironic, they invite us to think about the difference between appearance and reality, between what we see, what we think we see, and what we want to see. This why they have been recognised to truly break the mold of the contemporary art scene and considered a great investment.
The Connor Brothers have been widely featured in the media, along with their sell-out shows at galleries in LA, New York, Sydney, Dubai, London, Hong Kong and Berlin. Their work is in collections at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Penguin Collection and both the Omar Koch and Niarchos Collections. Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Auction in May 2021 sold for over £44,000, which was 300% more than the estimate.
Today James and Mike align their work with social causes. After working for several years in the refugee camp known as The Jungle, they launched the Refuchic billboard campaign, which forced us to examine our attitude to poverty and displacement. They have curated a refugee-themed show at Banksy’s Dismaland, and they continue to work with mental health charity, CALM.