Twentysomething twin brothers Franklyn and Brendan Connor create art that is deeply informed by their unusual upbringing. Children of the California-based religious group, The Family International, an outgrowth of the Hippie movement that began in the late 60s, the Connor Brothers were raised in an extremely sheltered, isolated, and devout Christian environment where they had no contact with the outside world. The boys escaped at the age of 16 and moved to Brooklyn. After an overwhelming reality check they developed a methodology to understanding the outside world, wherein they would each explore their surroundings, document new discoveries, and share notes they compiled with one another. This collaboration developed into artistic endeavors, launching their dual career.
The Connor Brothers’ art is satirical and humorous in nature, and to a certain extent debunks many of the teachings they learned as children. Using vintage book covers as their basis, most often from romance novels or Shakespeare classics, the artists modify the book titles and add in their own text, changing the message while maintaining the context. The artists either employ collage methods, altering original book covers, or they create large-scale acrylic or oil paintings, mimicking book cover imagery.
With their first solo show, “True Love Stories”, the artists present a series of cynical paintings remarking on the love’s demise in contemporary society. The majority of the paintings show male-female couples in conversation or embrace, with comic strip-style speech painted on top. Most of the conversations convey pessimistic messages regarding dating and the impossibility of true love.
Another body of work copies the cover of a Shakespeare novel with all the usual characteristics of a classic paperback, except the title text has been altered to include profanities. The new title plays on “Much Ado About Nothing”, while questioning the relevance of Shakespeare’s writing in modern society.
“True Love Stories” is currently on view at Guy Hepner’s West Hollyood Location.