3 Dollars & 6 Dimes

Sanford Biggers
May 15 - July 5, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 6:30 pm, Artist Talk with Tobias Ostrander,
Chief Curator, Pérez Art Museum Miami
Reception 7:30 – 9:30 pm


David Castillo Gallery is proud to announce 3 Dollars & 6 Dimes, a solo exhibition by Sanford Biggers. The artist will present new mixed media painting, installation, and performance. Biggers destabilizes linear notions of history, identity, and spirituality with a syncretic visual language culled from slave narratives, hip-hop culture, Afrofuturism, Buddhism, and Art History.


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 x16 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 theAmericana exhibition at The Perez Art Museum Miami.



Among Biggers’ many solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, are the Brooklyn Museum, SculptureCenter and MASS MoCA. His work has been included in venues worldwide including Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, as well as institutions in China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Russia. The artist’s works have been included in notable exhibitions such as: Prospect 1 New Orleans BiennialIlluminations at the Tate Modern, Performa 07 in NY, The Whitney Biennial, and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Bronx Museum, among many others.

Sanford Biggers