Doug and Mike Starn (1992-11-03)

Doug and Mike Starn
Practice: Installation, and Photography
Date of Lecture: 1992-11-03

Starn_Doug_w01Double Rembrandt with Steps, 1987-88. Toned silver print, toned ortho film, wood, Plexiglass, Artists’ Collection © Doug and Mike Starn

Doug and Mike Starn are New York-based artists who, as identical twins, have been working together since the age of 13. Born in New Jersey in 1961, their careers took off almost immediately upon the completion of art school. By the time they were 27, they had exhibited in the in the 1987 Whitney Biennal and had solo shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York.

They are noted for their experimental approach to both film and photography; their photo-based work has often incorporated collaged photographs, scotch tape, irregular frames and unexpected sculptural elements. In their work, they have also appropriated images from the history of art, repeatedly reworking photographs of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, Philippe de Champaigne’s Dead Christ as well as paintings by Rembrandt, Picasso and Botticelli, among others.

Embracing the chance effects of process, the Starns’ work exposes the underlying materiality of the image and addresses the inevitability of the aging and change of the photograph itself.

Recently, the Starns have worked on transparent illuminated books, incorporating their interest in the sun, the writings of Plato and Copernicus, ancient Egyptian history as well as images from NASA.

The Starns have participated in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at the Portland Museum of Art (Doug and Mike Starn: Sphere of Influence, 1994), The Friends of Photography/The Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco (Size of the Earth, 1997) and the Färgfabriken Kunsthalle, Stockholm, Sweden (2002). Their work is featured in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, the Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan and The Chicago Art Institute. In 1990, the catalogue Mike and Doug Starn 1985 – 1990 was published by the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati to accompany a traveling exhibition of their work.

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