“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)
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. The brothers create retro style figurative images which encourage us to challenge our assumptions and preconceptions, and as a result to perhaps see the world a little differently. Their interest in undermining our assumptions and casual acceptance of cultural norms is reflected in their extraordinary background.
They themselves started out as a fiction as in reality they are British artists Mike Snelle and James Golding. The fictional identity of Mike and James was designed to cloak their personal reality, and such was its success that it captured the imagination of the art world. The Connor Brothers were presented as innocent twins who had emerged traumatised from a Californian cult and were struggling to make sense of the world through their art – an interesting background no doubt, but the truth is more interesting still.