Competition: US & Canada
Sanford Biggers‘ work is an interplay of history, narrative, and media that speaks to a complicated cultural and sociopolitical era. His diverse practice posits him as a collaborator with the past through prescient transmedia explorations of often-overlooked popular and vernacular culture, historical revision and art history.
Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts along the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them in a form of transgenerational collaboration or call and response. Addressing ongoing occurrences of police brutality against Black Americans, Biggers’ BAM series is composed of bronze sculptures recast from fragments of wooden African statues that have been ballistically ‘resculpted’.
As a 2017 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, Mr. Biggers began working in marble. The resulting Chimera series plays with the traditions of this medium to create hybridized mash-ups that sample, combine and juxtapose historical European and African sculptures to create what he calls “relics for future ethnographies”.
As the creative director and keyboardist, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia collective that straddles visual art and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated visual effects and video.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Studio Sanford Biggers. Photograph by Alex Freund.