Twins Franklyn and Brendan Connor were brought up within a secretive & highly controversial cult known as ‘The Family’. Born out of the hippy movement in 1968 and founded by David Berg ‘The Family’ was an extreme Christian cult whose members believed in something called ‘The System’. Other children brought up within the cult include the actors River and Joaquin Phoenix.
As children the twins were deprived of access to information from outside of their commune. Without access to mainstream media their knowledge of the world was limited to the teachings and interactions they gained from other cult members. At sixteen the boys turned their backs on The Family and ran away from home. After several years riding the freight trains they settled in the Brooklyn area of New York.
Having been starved of information for so many years Franklyn and Brendan were initially overwhelmed by the outside world but soon developed an insatiable curiosity and a remarkable appetite to learn. They 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.
Now in their early twenties the twins split their time between New York and Missouri.
The connor brothers are fictional characters created by the artists known as the connor brothers
It was arranged by Runway Gallery for the Connor Brothers to have exclusive access to the back catalogue of imagery at TI Media. A library of old magazines dating back to the 1800s. In the collection is a huge selection of illustrations which when our curator Daniel Syrett saw them, immediately thought of the Connor Brothers. Runway Gallery then approached both TI Media and the brothers and the editions where planned.
The images used have only ever been used for the original magazines they were created for, making these limited editions so extraordinary. Limited to 25 prints of each edition these collaborative editions are very special and rare.
Here's what the Connor Brothers said about the works in LivingEtc.
The Connor Brothers’ art often explores truth and fiction, as witnessed in one of the two exclusive limited edition prints they have created in collaboration with Livingetc and contemporary art platform, Runway Gallery, where the works are available to buy. The pair were invited to plunder the magazine archives of Livingetc’s parent company TI Media, and one of the images they have refashioned – taken from a 1960 edition of Woman’s Realm – depicts a beautiful blonde with the message, ‘There’s nothing so seductive as a dangerous idea’. ‘I’ve always been a bit obsessed with a hoax that was done in the 1970s by American novelist Clifford Irving who wrote a fictional biography about a reclusive billionaire called Howard Hughes; it was the most expensive book ever sold,’ recounts Mike. ‘In an interview he explained that it was never about the money,
it was the elegance of the idea that made it undeniable.’ For the pair, the process of working through the archives was fascinating: ‘There are literally thousands and thousands of magazines,’ says Mike. ‘We tended to focus on illustrations that had been put into print using lithography; there’s something a bit more real, more visceral, maybe, about this style.’
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