Thumbnail-size images of copyrighted artworks are displayed under fair use, in accordance with guidelines recommended by the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, published by the College Art Association in February 2015.


Doug and Mike Starn (American, born in 1961)


Print size: 77 x 59 inches (195.6 cm x 149.9 cm) Frame size (not glazed): 94 x 75 inches (238.8 x 190.5 cm)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Unique color carbon print on Zerkall paper with 16k gold and palladium leaf water gilding

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art, Photography



Since the 1980s, the collaborative artists (and twins) Doug and Mike Starn have montaged photographs of iconic art subjects into intentionally fragmented, fragile exposures. To create this ethereal image of a large wooden Bodhisattva at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, they chose the delicate carbon process, developed in the mid-19th century. The layers of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (carbon) pigments fuse together to build the image, reflecting the artists’ hope to relay an “idea of interdependence.” The Starns find inspiration in the Buddhist concept of impermanence (anitya), explaining: “Everything is made up of parts, and is dependent on the right conditions for its existence. Everything is in constant flux.”


Sold by the artists to Alan and Lorraine Bressler; 2010, gift of Alan and Lorraine Bressler to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 15, 2010)

Credit Line

Gift of Alan and Lorraine Bressler


© 2011 Mike & Doug Starn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York