Monday, 11 July 2011

Doug and Mike Starn

The Starn Twins’ artworks are “not appropriation photographs designed to deconstruct- or expose the context in which the original art was made” (Papadakis, 1989 p.61). The objects produced are “drained of its original significance” (Papadakis, 1989 p.61). Doug and Mike Starn’s work seem to be part of the so lat century, millennium burnout. The two have so “internalized post-modernism as to be virtually free of it, liberated, that is, to the exercise  post modern license without being over determined or terrorized by its ideological excess” (Wheeler, 1991 p.335).

Still Life 1983

The Building 1985

They do recycle art history, like postmodernism but they offer something more positive and “more humanistic” with “richer imagery that elicit feeling and fantasy” (Wheeler, 1991 p.336). Doug and Mike Starn’s work is made up of “elaborately layered collages cobbled together with Scotch Magic Tape” (Wheeler, 1991 p.336).

Rookery 1985

Double Stark Portrait in Swirl 1985-6. Toned silver print with tape, 8'3" square.

The fragmented results are fascinating like a “photographic Cubism with the geometric patterning of the individual sheets of paper, fracturing and distancing the underlying ‘picture’ in much the same way that the lambent planes of an Analystical Cubsim jostle a representational world that supposedly lies beneath” (Papadakis, 1989, p.61).

Triple Christ  toned silver print with Scotch tape, aluminium, wood, glue and glass 1986 

 Untitled (Large Christ) 1987, silver print, tape. film, glass, wood, 228.6 x 609.6 cm

Blue Lisa 1987, toned silver print 215.9x134.6cm


Papadakis, (1989) New York New Art, Art & Design, Academy Editions London/New York:  St. Martin’s Press

Wheeler, (1991)  Art Since Mid-Century, London: Thames and Hudson

N.B. Some of the early titles seem wrong to me. I hope to research further and discover more details.

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