‘Photography isn't just an image, anymore than a painting is just paint. The print is an object, and this object becomes the embodiment of a concept. We always felt that since, in photography, physical reality was directly and perfectly captured, the real world (warts and all) should be apparent in its realization - the print. Secondly, that photography captures a moment in time, but the artwork created from the photograph continues in time, the artwork is not frozen.

Over the years, the work experiences changes - physically and conceptually, like the deteriorated tallow and roses in a Beuys or as Duchamp's Ready-mades, now rarified (anti-)heroic masterpieces of the 20th Century, completely antithetical to their original concept. The passage of time works to transform the being and the meaning of everything.’

Doug & Mike Starn, September 2009

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.

This summer the Starns continue the evolution of their monumental installation Big Bambú You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop at the 54th Venice Biennale. Housed at the Casa Artom, next door to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the central aspect of this ongoing sculpture is a 50’ tall hollow tower of bamboo, with a trail spiraling up to the top reaching a 20' wide roof top lounge. The Starns and their crew of rock climbers will continue to lash together bamboo, sustaining the spiral upward until the closing day of the sculpture, June 15th.

Big Bambú by Mike & Doug Starn has manifested itself in several forms. Firstly in their studio, the former Tallix foundry where it continues to evolve through on-going rebuilding and rethinking of the structure at all times.
Embodying the notions of adaptation and interconnectedness, Big Bambú was re-interpreted on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY last year. Installed on the Cantor roof garden, this colossal artwork constructed in the form of a cresting wave eventually rose to 50 feet high, bridging the realms of architecture, performance and sculpture. The continual evolution of the artists’ seminal installation was witnessed by visitors as the structure’s intricate network of 3200 bamboo poles were 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 organism, visitors were able to walk through the labyrinthine space and climb on its sides.

As the work represents the continual growth of living things, in addition to 2,000 fresh poles harvested from a farm in France, Doug and Mike have cut several of the Fragments out of the Metropolitan installation to construct the Venice sculpture: "We are grafting a new Big Bambú and using 1,000 poles from the Met as stem cells, the Venice piece will still be the Metropolitan piece but also a new one, Big Bambú is always growing and changing and becoming something new-- as we all are." Big Bambú ranked 4th in total attendance of a contemporary art exhibition internationally and the 9th highest attended exhibit in the entire history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.


Selected gallery exhibitions

2010 Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado.
2009 Big Bambú, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden.
2008 Doug and Mike Starn, Thordén Wetterling Gallery, Göteborg, Sweden.
Attracted to Light, Steele Gallery at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado. alleverythingthatisyou, David Weinberg Gallery in conjunction with The Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago, Illinois.
2007 alleverythingthatisyou, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden.
2006 Opposition of Coincidents, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
alleverythingthatisyou, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado
Mike and Doug Starn, Galeria Metta, Madrid, Spain.
2005 Impermanence, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York.
2004 I’m a negative falling down to the light a silhouette veins flowing with black visible to these useless blind eyes, Björn Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden. Toshodaiji, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan. (travelling exhibition).
Attracted to Light, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado.
Doug & Mike Starn, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, New York.
2003 Attracted to Light, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, California.
Absorption of Light, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona; Galerie Bhak, Seoul, South Korea; Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, Germany. (travelling exhibition).
Absorption of Light, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, California.
2001 New Work, Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2000 Black Pulse, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado.
1996 Helio Libri, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia.
1995 Galerie Bhak, Seoul, South Korea. Helio Libri, Pace / MacGill Gallery, New York, New York.
1994 Spectroheliographs, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York.
1993 Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan.
1992 Yellow and Blue Louvre Floor – A Project, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York.
1991 Multiples, Pace / MacGill Gallery (in cooperation with Leo Castelli), New York, New York.
1990 Fred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica, California.
Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
Stux Gallery, New York, New York.
Galerie Antoine Candau, Paris, France. 1989 Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
Anne Frank Group, Leo Castelli Gallery & Stux Gallery, New York, New York.
1988 Stux Gallery, New York, New York.
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York.
1987 Stux Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts. 1986 Stux Gallery, New York, New York. 1985 Stux Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.

Selected Museum Exhibitions
2009 Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture, Hyde Park Art Centre, Chicago, IL.
H20: Water on Film, The Newport Mill, Newport, New Hampshire.
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY.
NASA/ART: 50 Years of Exploration, Art League of Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, Florida (travelling exhibition).
2008 Teleport Färgfabriken (inaugural exhibition), Färgfabriken Norr, Östersund, Sweden. Metamorphosis, Abington Art Centre, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
2006 Out of Line: Drawings from the Collection of Sherry and Joel Mallin, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York
Friday Late Twilight, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Eretica: Trascedenza e profano nell’arte contemporanea, Palazzo di Sant’Anna, Palermo, Italy, New York, New York, Grimaldi Forum, Principality of Monaco, Monte Carlo; The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, California (travelling exhibition)
Family Affairs, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Picturing Eden, Eastman House, Rochester, New York
Among the Trees the New Jersey Centre for Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey
Image as Object, Sesnon Art Gallery Porter College UCSC, California.
2005 Künstlerbrüder, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany.
IMPAKT, Melbourne, Australia;
New at the Neuberger: Recent Acquisitions, Neuberger Museum of Art, at Purchase College, Purchase, New York.
2004 Pieced Together: Photomontage from the Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Animal Instincts, Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California.
Bug-Eyed: Art, Culture, Insects, Turtle Bay Contemporary Art Centre, Redding, California
Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut.
Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York.
2003 Both Sides of the Street: Celebrating the Corcoran’s Photography Collection, The Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.
How Human, Life in the Post Genome Era, International Centre of Photography, New York, New York.
Aperture: Past/Forward, International Tour.
Within Reach: Hope for the Global AIDS Epidemic, International Tour.
2002 The New York Historical Society, New York, New York.
Portraits of the Art World: 100 Years of ARTnews, National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Visions from America, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.
The Great American Nude, The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut.
2000 Ramparts Café, The Jewish Museum, New York, New York.
GANJIN, Photo Museum, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan.
2000 Permanent Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
1999 Musique en Scène, Musée Art Contemporain, Lyon, France.

Work Selection

Alternate Text

walked to school ourselves this morning