The Connor Brothers
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.
After coping with some challenging personal issues for many years the two became great friends and started experimenting with making art as a way of looking at the world through a more positive lens. Their intelligence, humour and creativity gave their work enormous appeal, but when it was suggested to them that they might choose to exhibit it one day, both resisted the idea, unwilling to expose their artworks and themselves to the public gaze.
The Connor Brothers best-known works offer a playful twist on the conventions of pulp fiction cover art, accompanied by words from the worlds greatest poets, cynics and wits. These satirical juxtapositions of cliché and brilliance strike a chord with the modern age. Thought provoking and ironic, they invite us to think about the difference between appearance and reality, between what we see, what we think we see, and what we want to see.
Today James and Mike align their work with social causes. After working for several years in the notorious French refugee camp known as The Jungle, they launched the Refuchic billboard campaign, which forced us to examine our attitude to poverty and displacement. They have created a refugee-themed show at Banksys Dismaland, and they continue to work with mental health charity, CALM.