Attracted to Light
December 2 - January 17, 2004

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Attracted to Light features Doug & Mike Starns' recent portraits of the nocturnal moths' mysterious and undeniable draw to light. This series focuses on their explorations into the conceptual and physical relationship of light and darkness. Most of these images were captured on the porches of the Starns' lakefront properties in upstate New York. According to Demetrio Paparoni, an essayist, "For the Starns, light is more than enlightenment; it is the gravity of all our past experiences and our future, the conscious and unconscious, the external and internal factors that drive our lives. The pull of gravity that light has over the corporeal body of the moths is like breathing, like thinking, impossible to deny." To create their unique portraiture of moths, special macro lenses were custom-made. Then, as is the artists' practice, they created printing methods and techniques that approximate and imply the metaphorical meaning of the subject and concept itself.

The Starns have been working in the territory between photography, sculpture and painting since the early 1980's, and occupy a unique position within contemporary art practices of photography. Their lifelong artistic collaboration has focused on the photographic print representing the cycles of time, change, and age. Their work has marked a shift away from the photograph as a sacrosanct two-dimensional image representing a concept or distanced view of life, towards a confrontation of photography's material existence and inherent fragility. Serving as a metaphor of life, their photographs are vessels for images that reflect upon these themes.