Doug Starn and Mike Starn - Photographs New York Thursday, October 7, 2021 | Phillips
  • "We don’t want a perfect fidelity; we have no interest in that kind of perfection." —Doug and Mike Starn

     Water Moon Guanyin 2 (detail)

     In 2005, Doug and Mike Starn began photographing Buddhist statuary, drawn to the physicality of these ancient objects and their relationship to the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence. The visible wear-and-tear of the ages on these sculptures is paralleled by the imperfections the Starns embrace in their own highly-individualized practice. They chose to render these images in the four-color carbon process, an archaic photographic technique that the Starns revived to great effect. Of this series, they stated:


    ‘To print the photographs of these ethereal sculptures, we thought about the color process we've wanted to work with since we were in school, the Color Carbon process . . . The color photograph is separated into the four colors –magenta, cyan, yellow, and black . . . Each color is its own negative and is printed as an individual tissue with pigments, there's no substrate for these tissues of color. They are just gelatin with pigment and these are, one at a time, layered onto a piece of paper to physically build that full color image. The tissues are very delicate, and often they rip and tear, which is absolutely great for us. We don’t want a perfect fidelity; we have no interest in that kind of perfection. Through that imperfection, through those tears, the color building up is apparent. And, of course, by seeing the color’s absence in a torn area, you notice its presence in other places. This really worked for us, this idea of Interdependence that we always like to have involved in our work in some way or other.’


    Water Moon Guanyin 2 (detail)
    • Provenance

      Baldwin Gallery, Aspen


Water Moon Guanyin 2

Unique four-color carbon print on ten sheets of Zerkel paper with applied tape and metallic push pins.
57 1/2 x 58 in. (146.1 x 147.3 cm)
Overall 63 x 63 in. (160 x 160 cm)

Signed in ink on the reverse of the frame; printed title and number 1/1 on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

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Sarah Krueger
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New York Auction 7 October 2021