Doug and Mike Starn were born in New Jersey in 1961. Identical twins, they work collaboratively with photography and continue defying categorization, effectively combining traditionally separate disciplines such as sculpture, photography, painting, video, and installation.
From April 2010 the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York will present the Starn’s site specific installation Big Bambú, a monumental bamboo structure in the form of a cresting wave, eventually rising to 50 feet high. Installed on the Cantor roof garden this colossal artwork bridges the realms of architecture, performance and scultpure. The continual evolution of the artists’ seminal installation is to be witnessed by visitors as the structure’s intricate network of 3200 bamboo poles are lashed together by the artists and a team of professional rock climbers over the course of its 6 month residency. Encouraged to engage with this ever-changing living organsim, visitors will be able to walk through the labyrinthine space and climb on its sides.
In spring 2009, the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Arts for Transit unveiled See it split, see it change the brother’s first-ever public commission. The work is permanently installed in the South Ferry subway terminal. The approximately 250-foot long artwork, ranging from 9 to 14 feet in height, presents the artists’ iconic tree photographs, and a leaf transposed into fused glass. Marble mosaics and a water jet cut stainless steel fence punctuate the station’s main tree landscape.
The Starns are currently working from former Tallix foundry which acts as a laboratory studio space in Beacon, New York.This new space allows Doug and Mike to explore in depth the dialogue with early works such as Stretched Christ,Siamese Twins, Sphere of Influence, and Amaterasu, while pursuing their most recent investigations from their Absorption of Light concept, through alleverythingthatisyou, their photomicrographs of snow crystals, and their revival of the late 19th century color carbon printing process. Through their carbon prints, the Starns mingle gilding techniques to the painterly photo-process, and further advance their metaphorical lexicon on light with photographs of Buddhist statuary they took at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Gravity of Light, a solo exhibition by the Starn brothers featuring seven monumental photograph illuminated by a single, blindingly bright carbon arc lamp recently was inaugurated in the United States on the occasion of The Festival of Firsts—Pittsburgh, last fall, and was originally commissioned by the Färgfabriken Kunsthalle, Stockholm, Sweden. A series of artists’ books is accompanies the exhibition.
Attracted to Light, To Find God, not the Devil’s Insides and alleverythingthatisyou are the Starns’ mostrecent monographic publications. The Starns are currently preparing a new artist book based on their iconic photograph of Ganjin, and a new monograph focused on Big Bambú. They have received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Flashart, amongst many other notable media.
Doug and Mike Starn’s art has been the object of numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. The Starns have received the following honors: two National Endowment for the Arts Grants in 1987 and 1995; The International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award for Fine Art Photography in 1992; and, artists in residency at NASA in the mid-nineties. Major artworks by the Starns are represented in public and private collections including: The Museum of Modern Art (NYC); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, (NYC); The Jewish Museum, (NYC); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC); The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC); Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan; La Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amongst many others.
Resume of exhibitions, collections and awards
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