artist works
Doug & Mike     Starn
Doug & Mike Starn


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.

In spring 2009, the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority's Arts for Transit unveiled See it split, see it change, the brothers' 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 building Big Bambu at the former Tallix foundry acting as a laboratory studio space in Beacon, New York. Big Bambu is a seminal architectural installation and constantly evolving construction, formed by a network of more than 2,000 fresh-cut bamboo poles lashed together. This colossal artwork bridges the realms of sculpture, architecture and performance. This new studio 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 in New York and the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Gravity of Light, a solo exhibition by the Starn brothers featuring seven monumental photographs illuminated by a single, blindingly bright carbon arc lamp was inaugurated in the United States on the occasion of the Festival of Firsts in Pittsburgh, in 2008, and was originally commissioned by the Fargfabriken Kunsthalle, Stockholm, Sweden. A series of artists' books accompanies the exhibition. Attracted to Light, To Find God, not the Devil's Insides and alleverythingthatisyou are the Starns' most recent monographic publications. The Starns are preparing a new artist book, based on their iconic photograph, Ganjin, and a new monograph focused on Big Bambu. 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 Biblioteque Nationale (Paris), La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amongst many others.