A person hides a lot of different sides to them. I recently came to recognize this when I began to fully embrace the different intimate emotions which I have. It can be a scary personal journey, which is why some might try to explore these sides of themselves through alter egos, avatars, and even made-up stories which they identify with when they pursue a certain aspect of their lifestyle.
Art duo The Connor Brothers was founded by Mike Snelle and James Golding. Apart from doing what most controversial artists do, such as explore challenging topics involving “the boundary between truth and fiction and raise(s) questions about how we construct meaning from experience” and the ability to showcase a “larger world with infinitely more possibilities” to the public by blurring the truth with fiction; they have pushed the idea of truth much further – by introducing themselves as characters in a fictional story that they have made up.
Imprinting themselves in the art world as twins Franklyn and Brendan Connor, who “were brought up within a secretive and highly controversial cult known as ‘The Family’”, they create artworks through the eyes of these twins, which are told to be “deprived of access to information from outside of their commune” and has thus turned to art when they ran away from home. They started to”read, watch and discover things independently and then share them with one another via a series of notebooks and sketchpads. This interaction developed into making art together, a process they describe as ‘trying to make sense of the world.’” The art duo takes on these identities and continues this fictitious story as their actual life carries on in New York and Missouri. The ‘twins’ are known for creating cynical contemporary artworks which obsess with the ideas of “wealth, fame and the unrealistic idealism of advertisings’ vision of relationships.”
The deeply dimensional experience that The Connor Brothers offers, therefore, does not rely only on their actual artwork, but also on the idea of having to constantly backtrack and relate the matter to their self-created, mysterious and unique background. A strong dialogue is therefore created between the notions of their artworks and these made-up identities, which speaks and fosters interesting opportunities in their creations. Their Hong Kong debut show is now hosted at The Cat Street Gallery until December, and we definitely recommend everyone to go experience it for themselves.
SAINTS + SINNERS by The Connor Brothers
2nd November to 4th December, 2016
The Cat Street Gallery, 50 Tung Street, Sheung Wan