Doug and Mike Starn are American artists, identical twins, born 1961.


The Starn brothers gained international attention at the 1987 Whitney Biennial. The Starns have been primarily working conceptually with photography for the past two and a half decades. They are recognized for their penetrating conceptualization of light. They employ this as a metaphor for the driving force of creativity and intelligence, and for how we live our lives. [1] Concerned largely with interconnection and interdependence, chaos, time, organic systems and structures. They continue defying categorization, effectively combining traditionally separate disciplines such as photography, sculpture, architecture. Their 2010 installation Big Bambú :You Can’t, You Don’t and You Won’t Stop, roof garden exhibition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art was the 9th most attended exhibition in the museum's history. Throughout the six-month exhibit, the Starns and their crew of 10-16 rock climbers continuously lashed and sculpted over 7,000 bamboo poles, a performative architecture of randomly interconnected vectors forming a section of a seascape with a 70’ cresting wave above Central Park. Big Bambú suggests the complexity and energy of an ever-growing and changing living organism. Other iterations of the series are in the permanent collection of the Macro Museum (Rome)--curated by Francesco Bonami--, the Israel Museum of Jerusalem, and were featured at the 54th Venice Biennale (Italy) and Teshima Triennial (Japan). Since June 2014, a new permanent installation has been part of the Israel Museum Jerusalem sculpture garden: it is titled: Big Bambú: 5,000 Arms To Hold You.

The Starns were represented by Leo Castelli from 1989 until his death in 1999. Their work has been the object of numerous museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide. Gravity of Light a monographic publication (Skira/Rizzoli 2012) based on the eponymous exhibit, follows Attracted to Light (Blind Spot/powerHouse 2003) and Doug and Mike Starn (Abrams 1990). Their pieces are represented in important public and private collections internationally. They have received two National Endowment for the Arts Grant; The International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award for Fine Art Photography in 1992; and, artists in residency at NASA in the mid-nineties. Their first permanent installation (glass, metal, and a stone mosaic) titled See it split, see it change, was inaugurated at the South Ferry subway terminal.

Major works


  1. ^ Peppiatt, Michael,. Peterson, Jane A., Art Plural: Voices of Contemporary Art, Gatehouse,Art Plural Gallery Publications
  2. ^ [1] Venice Biennale: ‘Big Bambú,’ Italian Style, Roberta Smith, May 31, 2011, New York Times.
  3. ^ [2] See It, Feel It, Touch It, Climb It, Carol Vogel, February 11, 2010, New York Times.
  4. ^ [3] Making Artistic Connections at a Subway Station, Marlena Ryzik, December 14, 2008, New York Times.

External links