Sanford Biggers works on a quilt for the MASS MoCA show in his Harlem studio
Sanford Biggers (2008 Visual Arts) is currently installing work from his Creative Capital-supported project, The Cartographer’s Conundrum, at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. This major solo exhibition, which opens February 4, is inspired by the Houston-based artist, scholar and Afro-futurist, John Biggers (1924–2001). A cousin of his subject, Sanford Biggers’s goal is to both study and expand the emerging genre of Afro-futurism, which engages science-fiction, cosmology and technology to create a new folklore of the African Diaspora. Simultaneously, Sanford hopes to illuminate John Biggers’s underrepresented career as a master painter and muralist.
Sanford had always been inspired by his cousin’s work and journey. After being awarded a Creative Capital grant in 2008, he used the opportunity to conceive of a new project that would place him and his cousin side by side. Sanford began by traveling through western Africa along the same route John Biggers followed in the 1950s, meeting with colleagues and family members along the way.