Sanford Biggers’ work is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often-overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history.
Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts on the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them. In his BAM series, Biggers seeks to memorialize and honor victims of police violence in the U.S., pointing towards recent transgressions and elevating the stories of specific individuals to combat historical amnesia. This series is composed of fragments of wooden African statues that are dipped and veiled with thick wax and then ballistically ‘resculpted.’ Biggers then cast the remnants into bronze, a historically noble and weighty medium. Each sculpture is named and dedicated after unarmed victims who have died at the hands of law enforcement. Following a residency as a 2017 American Academy Fellow in Rome, the artist began working in marble.
Drawing on and playing with the tradition of working in this medium, Biggers’ series entitled Chimeras creates hybridized forms that transpose, combine and juxtapose classical and historical subjects to create alternative meanings and produce what he calls “future ethnographies.” As creative director and keyboardist, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual arts and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated sound effects and video. Moon Medicin performed at
Open Spaces Kansas City in October 2018 and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2019.
This biography is courtesy of Sanford Biggers.
Image Credit: Chirs Roque