Jun 8, 2014
NYC-based artist Sanford Biggers’ Solo Exhibition at David Castillo Gallery
An LA native working in NYC, Sanford Biggers creates artworks that integrate film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance. He intentially complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. His solo exhibition ‘3 Dollars & 6 Dimes’ at David Castillo Gallery is on display now through July 25, 2014. The work presents new mixed media painting, installation and performance. The artist destabilizes linear notions of history, identity, and spirituality with a syncretic visual language culled from slave narratives, hip-hop culture and Afrofuturism.
In his Quilt series, Biggers appropriates antebellum quilts from the American South and renders them with acrylic, spray paint, silkscreen, embroidery, and fine art paper. The result depicts aggregate symbols from the Underground Railroad and sacred geometry, particularly the mandala. The mandala also constitutes the structure of the artist’s 16 x 16 foot dance floor, a site of implicit performance upon entering David Castillo Gallery. The dance floor invites ceremony and celebration in an environment of histories made new, including that of the art object itself.
The mandala is often posited as a doorway between heaven and earth. Interspersed throughout the gallery are cloud sculptures suspended at varying heights, creating depth and atmosphere for the floor and wall artworks. This heaven, however, is not that of manifest destiny. Biggers’ buoyant clouds are twisted from chicken wire and stuffed with raw cotton, referencing the plantation system and the sky under which its slave laborers fled.
3 Dollars & 6 Dimes is rich in the totality it represents: a three hundred and sixty degree cartography, a circular mandala, an embrace, the wisdom that comes from contemplating the interconnected past, present, and future. “I was born underwater with 3 dollars and 6 dimes,” Erykah Badu sings. 3 Dollars & 6 Dimes invites viewers not merely to ground themselves in the historical realities that have shaped American economy and culture, but to return to the water, the origin of all life, and a state of untarnished knowledge.
Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles, CA and lives and works in New York, NY where he is also an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Visual Arts program and a board member of SculptureCenter and the CUE Foundation. In April 2014, he participated in Carrie Mae Weems Live: The Blue Notes of Blues People at The Guggenheim New York and was recently included in the Americana exhibition at The Perez Art Museum Miami.
David Castillo Gallery opened in 2005 under sole ownership after transforming a dilapidated warehouse in Miami, Florida into a 5,000 square foot gallery – exhibiting mid-career and emerging artists, both international and local. The gallery’s focus is on conceptual curatorial models as they relate to art historical, cultural, and personal investigations of identity. David Castillo Gallery recently announced that it will be moving from it’s longtime Wynwood location at 2234 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami, FL 33127 to its new location on the 400 block of Lincoln Road. “This is where I wanted to be,” said David Castillo. “It will be similar in size, but in the heart of the Beach. I love it there.”