Syncretic Improvisations: A Conversation with Sanford Biggers
by Jan Garden Castro
While working in Japan, Italy, Germany, Poland, Brazil, and the United States, Sanford Biggers honed his view that art may simultaneously embrace diverse cultures. For example, he sees the tree as a symbol of growth and connectedness to earth, as the natural form under which Buddha found enlightenment, and as slavery’s lynching post. Others may see Christian, Greek, and other myths, so the readings are virtually limitless. In Blossom, in which a tree breaks out of a piano, Biggers connects arboreal mythologies with the cultural sphere of music and art—from Beuys’s felt-covered piano to composers ranging from Beethoven to Fats Waller. For Biggers, forms are multivalent, embodying a range of associations, some negative, some positive. This emphasis on the transformative power of art charms us into realizing that human nature may also change...see the entire article in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.