Born in New Jersey in 1961, the identical twins Doug and Mike Starn work collaboratively and defy categorization, combining traditionally separate disciplines such as sculpture, photography, painting, video, and installation.Their abiding interest is in organic systems and structures, as seen in their photographs of trees, leaves, and snow flakes. I’ve featured just two of their many works, Big Bambú and Big Bambú #8.
In 2010, their Big Bambú: “You Can’t, You Don’t, and YouWon’t Stop,” was installed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, band was built over several months. I saw it and it was incredible! The monumental bamboo structure ultimately measured 100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high and was in the form of a cresting wave that bridged the realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance. Visitors witnessed the creation, and evolving incarnations of Big Bambúas it was being constructed during the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers.
“Big Bambúis about what it is to be alive, and grow, and change, and being alive as a person, or as a society, a culture, a history, a city,” said Doug and Mike Starn, “By becoming aware of everything that has created who you are, then your realize you are helping to create something else, you are a catalyst yourself.”
Another project of theirs was Big Bambú #8, Naoshima Museum, Setouchi Triennial Teshima, Japan 2013. The visitor took abeautiful path through a bamboo forest, which then lead you to a Bambúwalkway tied directly to the living stalks and wound its way 200 feet up through the forest, higher and higher, until ultimately breaking through the surface of the canopy of bamboo leaves. A large fishing boat, 70 feet long and made entirely of Bambú, floats on the canopy sea of bamboo over 60 feet high. The visitor approaches the boat on the elevated path as if swimming through the canopy and climbs aboard.
Mike and Doug Starn talking about Big Bambú: