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         MIKE  STARN  &  DOUG  STARN     
         born 1961

mike & doug starn

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During an interview for a 1988 ARTnews article lauding the early success of photographic artists Doug and Mike Starn, the identical twins articulated the philosophy behind their torn and taped photo-collages: "We want to make the viewer feel the photography, as a painter makes you feel the paint, with drips and brushstrokes." The Starns endow their familiar subjects—stairs, horses, "masterpieces" of art, even themselves—with further meaning by combining various portions of an image to form a new piece. Their composite photographs integrate the aesthetics of nineteenth-century Romanticism into a contemporary awareness of the world. They take an art form where traditionally the materials of the work are inconsequential to the image and, much like Expressionism, make the physicality of the materials central to the work, bringing the human touch back to an increasingly mechanical and digital process.

Double Stark Portrait in Swirl
Self-portraits
Collage: toned gelatin silver prints and tape, 1985–86
Published February 1988
Randolfo Scott Rocha

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