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Studio Sunday: Sanford Biggers

A photo of Sanford Biggers in his art studio


Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles, moving to New York in 1999. He’s now based in Harlem, where he produces interdisciplinary artworks spanning the media of film, installation, performance, sculpture and painting.


Biggers is best known for frank, sometimes confrontational works that address social issues surrounding race and racial violence. He works in a range of media, carving out a practice that’s often augmented with unusual tools for mark-making.


Biggers studio as presented in this image is an interesting hodgepodge of a series of different art styles and materials. One work, a collection of silhouetted figures, extends from its position directly on the wall onto the floor, allowing Biggers or any other visitor to his studio to effectively replace their shadow with this artwork.


The remaining works seem halfway between collage and textile art – they’re very abstracted but feature patterns and imagery that borrows that silhouetted motif. In fact, some of the patterns on these wall-hanging artworks remind me of the work of craft and decorative artists like Miriam Schapiro.


I would imagine that this is either a small part of Biggers’ overall studio space, or perhaps a smaller offshoot dedicated to creating smaller-scale, two-dimensional work. Aside from the images on the wall, and the chair where Biggers himself is sitting, there isn’t too much in the way of supplies or tools in the pictured area.


Biggers has received a number of awards over the course of his career, including the 2008 Creative Capital award, and the 2010 Greenfield Prize. More recently Biggers has drawn attention from his involvement in, and influence upon, the aesthetics of the Black Lives Matter movement.

[image source]

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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