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The Connor Brothers roar at Maddox Gallery with new show ‘Mythomania’

Mythomania, the latest show by artistic duo The Connor Brothers, has arrived at Maddox Gallery in London, bringing with it a radical departure from their previous work – and a nascent artistic movement

The Connor Brothers came roaring back to art’s primetime yesterday at Maddox Gallery with Mythomania – a collection of dinosaurs, dragons, zombies and other mythical beasts that manages to be visually arresting, immersive, acerbic – and laugh-out-loud funny – while also delivering a devastating deconstruction of our era’s preoccupations.

'Mythomania' by The Connor Brothers at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove, London
‘Mythomania’ by The Connor Brothers at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove, London

The collection, drawn from what they describe as their ‘Regression’ series, was inspired by art therapy sessions the British duo took during lockdown, where they were trained to off-board negative thoughts by drawing spontaneously, from the subconscious. Finding fertile creative territory from the rawness of this approach, Mike Snelle and James Golding finessed the idea into a stunning survey of our anxieties and compulsions, birthed through a child-like naivety that amplifies their message.

Hailing the “critically acclaimed, sell-out show,” Maddox Gallery creative director Jay Rutland identified the wider context that anchors the collection – living, at it does, in the slip-stream of years of NFT hubris – as belonging to the dawn of a new, post-digital artistic tradition, an antidote to an increasingly virtual world. It’s not always easy to identify a movement when it’s still emerging, but Rutland emphasised: “Make no mistake – a movement it is.” And it’s hard not to agree when confronted with this powerful mirror of what our civilisation has become.

The works themselves are sly in that an awful lot of skill has gone into achieving their childlike innocence, and they are balanced perfectly. “Bipolar” is alive with movement, the lines rioting over a background of shifting translucence. “Cancel Culture” is a skeletal raptor, inverted like a photographic negative against apocalyptic stormclouds. If that all sounds a bit much, it isn’t – it works brilliantly, and the impishness of the dinosaur’s grin contains a bucket-load of charm.

Of special mention is that while the show itself was sold out before the evening even started, The Connor Brothers and Maddox have teamed up with Teenage Cancer Trust, and one of their paintings has been donated to a prize draw. It’s an important cause – please give it your support. And get down to Maddox Gallery to see this work while you can.

Mythomania by The Connor Brothers is on at Maddox Gallery, 112 Westbourne Grove, London W11 from June 24