New Acquisitions: The Connor Brothers

New Acquisitions – the name of our current exhibition – is purposefully vague, it lets the show’s roster speak for itself. Alex Katz. Takashi Murakami. Robert Indiana. Each artist is completely different in style, but their oeuvres are bound by a lasting impact on the international contemporary art market from Indiana’s iconic LOVE to Murakami’s Mr. DOB. Exhibited together for the first time, works by these art stars are available online, by private appointment, and at our new pop-up in the Domain Northside on Rock Rose. Recently acquired works also include pieces by two sets of duos: Australian-born couple DabsMyla and LA-based The Connor Brothers. Read on for a deep dive into the secretive beginnings of LA’s favorite brothers. 

If you find yourself reading The Connor Brothers bio on their website you would learn that the twin brothers, Franklyn and Brendan Connor, were brought up in an odd environment – a controversial cult that had complete control over the access to the outside world. At 16 the boys ran away, hitched a ride on a few freight trains and settled in the big apple. The twins “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 notebooks and sketchpads. This interaction developed into making art together, a process they describe as ‘trying to make sense of the world.’ Their often humorous work is steeped in references to both historical and popular culture and presents an almost anthropological view of contemporary western society.”

And now we spill the tea.

Their entire backstory is fabricated, false, fiction, fake! The so-called brothers are not related but instead met as London art dealers. Their names? Mike Snelle and James Golding. Their joint body of work reflects an interest in fiction, both the genre of writing and the falsehood it implies. One might assume that the duo decided to push the art’s meaning and concept further with a made-up background. In reality their constructed personas were crafted to cover-up their true stories and prevent the anticipated shame they believed they’d endure if scrutinized publicly. Here at West Chelsea Contemporary, we love the unrelated brothers works and find that their convoluted beginnings add to the intrigue and aloof quality found throughout their paintings and prints. The artists have become known for nonchalant phrasing layered over old school imagery. High-brow meme culture. Whether the characters are born from old Hollywood glam, old Westerns, or the grimy settings found in film noir, each work captures a movement or moment, including the viewer in the fictitious person’s private thoughts. 

Schedule a private appointment to view these work’s in person with one of our art consultants. We’re open Monday through Saturday 11 to 7 and Sunday 12 to 6 at our Pop-Up @ Domain Northside.