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Dreamlike and dramatic, Irish artist Conor Harrington’s work combines graffiti and renaissance visuals to comment on themes of gender and identity. Known for drawing together classic, renaissance painting styles and more contemporary, abstract techniques, Harrington’s work often has a dream-like, ethereal quality and frequently tackles themes of gender and identity.
Dance with the Devil © Conor Harrington 2013
January 2015 saw the sale of Irish artist Conor Harrington’s 2013 painting, Dance With The Devil. Put up for auction at Bonhams auction house in London, the work realised £77,499 – a record for the London-based artist, who began his career as a graffiti writer on the streets of his native Cork. Painted using a combination of oil and spray paint, the work depicts a pair of men engaged in a duel. Between the men, both actors specially hired and dressed by Harrington, the flag of the United Nations is draped over a table; to the left of the image, the carcasses of two animals make pointed reference to the visceral work of Irish-born painter, Francis Bacon.
Image © Bonham's / L'Amour et La Violence © Conor Harrington 2013
In October 2020, L’Amour Et La Violence – a 2013 work by Irish artist Conor Harrington – realised £75,063 at Bonham's. Much like the artist’s most-expensive work to-date, the 2013 painting Dance With The Devil, L’Amour et La Violence depicts two men who are engaged in a duel. Markedly more expressive than its cousin, this painting makes use of gestural painting techniques that recall the abstract paintings of German artist, Gerhard Richter. Counting the likes of actor Jared Leto and world-famous musician Alicia Keys amongst his fans, Harrington has been active since the mid 1990s. This particularly successful auction sale, however, was one of his first ever.
Image © Artcurial / Tardis of Delignt © Conor Harrington 2012.
In February of 2015, Artcurial auction house in Paris hosted the sale of Irish artist Conor Harrington’s Tardis Of Delight. It realised €72,480 at auction, becoming the 3rd most expensive artwork by Harrington, who began his career as a humble graffiti writer on the streets of Cork.
The third painting in a series that focuses on the male figure, it comprises the expressive depiction of a man in period costume, who carries a dead bird. Recalling the abstract paintings of German painter, Gerhard Richter, it is a strikingly peaceful image when compared with other Harrington works, such as L’Amour Et La Violence.
Holy Smoke Quintet (Part 4) © Conor Harrington 2010