The Connor Brothers first burst onto the art scene in 2012 as the mysterious twin brothers Frankly and Brendan Connor who had been brought up within a secretive and highly controversial cult know as ‘The Family’. Born out of the hippy movement in 1968 and founded by David Berg ‘The Family’ was an extreme Christian cult whose members believed in something called ‘The System’. As children the twins were deprived of access to information and mainstream media from outside of their commune. At sixteen the twins escaped this repressive cult and went to Brooklyn, New York where initially they were completely overwhelmed by the outside world but soon felt an insatiable curiosity and remarkable appetite to learn. They developed a system whereby each of them would read, watch and discover things independently and then share them with one another via a series of sketchpads. This interaction developed into making art together, a process they describe as ‘trying to make sense of the world’.
After perpetrating this fictional biography for over 18 months the duo decided to break cover and reveal their true identities. The art world had fallen for the mysterious duo’s story and now it was time for them to come clean. This revelation saw a huge increase in sales with their work being sold alongside Banksy and Hirsts at major auction houses and pieces going under the hammer way beyond estimates and with a record prices being achieved. Works can be found in major public and private collections worldwide including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Penguin Collection and both the Omar Koch and Niarchos Collections. They have also had sell-out shows in Los Angeles and Sydney and in 2015 curated Pussy Riot’s performance at Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition.
‘The Connor Brothers work explores the boundary between truth and fiction and raises questions about how we construct meaning from experience,’ says Hubert Weinstein, critic and author of After Post Post Modernism. Snelle argues that whilst artifice is often the best way to depict reality, fiction can also be the best way to challenge conventional concepts of truth. Using collage to subvert the meanings of old master paintings and vintage romance novels The Connor Brothers cast a cynical and penetrating eye at contemporary culture. Their often humorous work is steeped in references to both historical and popular culture and presents an almost anthropological view of contemporary western society. Their work reinterprets objects from the past and in doing so provides a humorous, playful twist on contemporary societies obsession with wealth, fame and the unrealistic idealism of human relationships.