Title: Deep in the Heart

Photographer: Doug & Mike Starn
Author: Sharon Oard Warner
Publisher: Delta [Dell Publishing]
Designer: Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich


Image Title: Rose 1982-88
Photo Genre: Manipulated [Composite]
Book Genre: Novel

When Doug and Mike Starn, known at the time as The Starn Twins, appeared on the art scene in the mid-1980's, they were a bit of a phenomenon. Though the strategies they used, toned printing-out paper, cliché-verre, composite imagery, were not new, the way they used them was. One might suggest that they broke almost every rule in the modernist photographic book, written over sixty years by the likes of Adams, Weston, Cartier-Bresson, Evans and, of course, John Szarkowski.
Like a couple of spiteful teenagers, the Starns thumbed their noses at traditional standards of camera vision and the fine photographic print. Their subject matter was mundane; their technique, by any conventional measure, abysmal. They all but destroyed their film and paper by staining, scratching, cutting and creasing, then cobbled together the results with nails and scotch tape, as if they were creating photographic equivalents of Frankenstein's monster. What they wound up producing, however, were photographs that were also objects, and quite striking objects at that. No longer the standard rectangular 'window', the Starn's photographic pieces had a physical presence; scratches and stains became lines and marks, creases and folds became facets and planes. Even the installation of the work; salon-style, using varying sizes, ornate frames, plywood mounts, plexi glue-gunned to the fronts, was completely antithetical to the traditional straight line of single images in unobtrusive mattes and frames.
'Rose', on the cover of two books in this collection, is a fairly large piece, roughly five by six feet. For the novel 'Deep in the Heart', the relationship between cover image and book content seems more direct than for 'The Complete Perfectionist'. KB

To view a cover design which mimics Doug and Mike Starn's photographic technique, click on the 'Point of Interest' image on the right of this page.

See 'Multiple Uses' for other books with the same cover image:

Multiple Uses :