3 Dollars and Six Dimes

David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL.
May 15, 2014 – July 5, 2014

Press Release:
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.