Twins Franklyn and Brendan Connor were brought up within a secretive and 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 remark- able 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 artist’s known as the Connor Brothers.
Blending the boundaries between Contemporary Art and Street Art.
Steve Smythe creates a range of work that explores collage, screenprinting, mixed media and unique layered images that are reminiscent of deteriorating paste-ups. Often combining iconic figures with torn text in a variety of fonts, Steve's prints and collages are rich in detail and texture. Avoiding editions and a belief in creating something unique with every piece of art.
With a library of silk screens and a tendency to get bored Steve floats between collage, screenprinting and mixed media works.
Currently a Lecturer of Visual Communications, Steve has a degree in Product Design and a teaching degree from Cambridge University.
A self-taught artist, he began creating his work in early 2013 (After several years of creating design work for other people). For Steve art gives him the freedom to work without boundaries, to do whatever he wants, no constraints, no brief, no amendments, no clients believing they know better. It's a freedom to work and explore in a manor not possible within the life design.
Inspired by Nouveau Realism, decollage, torn street posters and artists such as Jacques Villeglé and Raymond Hains, Steve’s work incorporates layers of paint, mixed media, spray paint and screenprint. Steve’s images explore both human and typographical forms, figuratively and in a graphical sense. He is fascinated by the deconstruction of layers and allowing the work to take its own form of visual distortion, somewhere between existence and demise.
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