Artist crosses media to mine the history and symbols of global cultures.
Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999) is not content to being simply “an artist.” He intends to be “a gateway into a new understanding.” The SAIC alum mines the symbols of global cultures to make videos, installations, sculpture, music, and performance. He brings together iconic images from hip-hop, Buddhism, African American ethnography, and Americana to broaden ideas of history and media. Through this interdisciplinary approach, Biggers provokes curiosity and creates a kind of new civic engagement through art.
The SAIC alum first received critical attention when his collaborative work with David Ellis, Mandala of the B-Bodhisattva II, was included in the influential exhibition Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2001. Biggers has also exhibited at the Tate Modern, Renaissance Society, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Biggers currently teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts. He is also the newest member of SAIC’s Board of Governors, bringing a unique artistic and alumni perspective to the School’s leadership.
“It’s an honor,” he says about being named to the Board. “SAIC has entrusted me to help represent.” In this role Biggers plans to be a gateway to the extraordinary network of SAIC alumni all over the world—alumni, like himself, who are creating Beautiful/Work.