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Art that pops: Where to go tonight

November 21, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • A vintage paperback-inspired painting by The Connor Brothers, showing at Guy Hepner Gallery.
A vintage paperback-inspired painting by The Connor Brothers, showing… (The Connor Brothers / Courtesy…)

Two interesting art events have caught our eye for Thursday night – both with a high energy, pop-cultural spin.

West Hollywood’s Guy Hepner Gallery, which specializes in the work of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst, will host an opening reception for “True Love Stories,” the debut solo show of British twins Franklyn and Brendan Connor. 

Known as The Connor Brothers, the duo paints as a team – in this case, brightly colored acrylic works on canvas inspired by vintage Mills & Boon romance novels. Their six large-format and 12 smaller paintings mimic the pulpy covers, but they’re layered with contemporary, if sometimes biting, dialogue riffing on modern romantic scenarios.

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The Connor Brothers’ background is nearly as colorful as their work. They were raised in an insular Christian cult called “The Family,” with no access to the outside world until their teens. At 16 years old they ran away from home, embarking on years of riding freight trains and making sense of the outside world via their sketchbooks.

At the Hammer Museum on Thursday night, author Jonathan Lethem (most recently, “Dissident Gardens”) and countercultural art force Raymond Pettibon come together as part of the museum’s free conversation series.

Lethem and Pettibon recently collaborated on the most definitive book of the artist’s work to date, “Raymond Pettibon,” a hardcover published by Rizzoli. Included in the book is a short story that Lethem wrote that was inspired by Pettibon’s career; in turn, Pettibon created four paintings – reproduced in the book -- to go with Lethem’s story.

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The Hammer conversation will no doubt swing both “high” and “low” culture, “from the deviations of marginal youth to art history, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality,” says the museum.

Meantime KCHUNG Radio, which is currently in residency at the Hammer, will be broadcasting throughout the Lethem-Pettibon talk. Its Mobile DJ Cart will be set up in the Hammer courtyard and DJ Sludgefeast Kat B. will be spinning LPs with artwork created by Pettibon --  Black Flag, Sonic Youth, the Minutemen, OFF!, among them.

Pettibon will sign copies of the book at the gallery Regen Projects on Saturday afternoon.


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