Doug & Mike Starn Interview: The Artist We Are Together


“Art is about communicating with people.” Watch acclaimed American artists – and identical twins – Doug & Mike Starn on how their “twin-language” is art: “It’s something that we have together, and we put it out there.”

“I think every child is an artist, and we were no different.” As children, Doug & Mike Starn completed each other’s artwork, and later, they went to art school on a single portfolio. They would do separate projects, but the works they did together were always the best: “We have that plus, an externalized debate.” In all of their work, they explain, you see pieces being put together: “Together we’re a single artist in a sense, yet we’re distinct individuals, so we’re very conscious of parts.” This, they continue, is true with everything in the world – everything is interconnected or interdependent with everything else: “Nothing is existing on its own. Nothing.”

Doug & Mike Starn (b. 1961) are American artists. The Starn brothers first gained international attention at the 1987 Whitney Biennial. They primarily work conceptually with photography but are also known to defy categorization, combining photography, sculpture and architecture. Their 2010 installation ‘Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop’ at the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was the 9th most attended exhibition in the museum’s history. Throughout the six-month exhibit, the Starns and their crew of rock climbers continuously lashed and sculpted over 7,000 bamboo poles, forming a section of a seascape with a cresting wave above Central Park. Their work has been the object of numerous museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide, including solo exhibitions at The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Cincinnati Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 54th Venice Biennale in Venice. Moreover, they have received two National Endowment for the Arts Grants and The International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award for Fine Art Photography. For more see: http://www.dmstarn.com/

Doug & Mike Starn were interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at Ordrupgaard in Charlottenlund, Denmark in May 2018 in connection with their spectacular bamboo installation ‘Geometry of Innocence’.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm

Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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