New York Art@Site Sanford Biggers Lotus

Sanford Biggers



Eagle Academy for Young Men
Internationally renowned artist Sanford Biggers presents Lotus, a powerful sculpture that confronts our nation’s history. At first glance, this twenty-seven-foot diameter galvanized steel sculpture depicts an ornate lotus blossom. Upon closer inspection, however, its petals are actually several 18th-Century slave ships with illustrations of bodies lined up in each cargo hold. The lotus motif is simultaneously a mandala, a primary source for Buddhist meditation, and a symbol of transcendence, challenging the destructive history the transatlantic slave trade has cast on the Afro-Latino Diaspora.
The piece draws strength from turning a powerful and sad moment in our collective American history into a beautiful work of art that enables the viewer to transcend our past and recognize how far our country has progressed. Lotus is a symbol of the American evolution.
About the Artist...
Influenced by Buddhism, hip-hop, and urban culture, Sanford Biggers’ art integrates film/video, installation, sculpture, music and performance. Sanford has won numerous national awards from the Creative Capital Foundation, New York City’s Percent for Art program, New York Foundation for the Arts, and most recently the Greenfield Prize. His work has appeared worldwide at sites including the Tate Britain and Modern, London and the Whitney Museum, New York. He was a Marshall S. Cogan Visiting Artist at HarvardUniversity, and is currently a professor of visual art at ColumbiaUniversity, and an affiliate faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Artist Quote..."Lotus is an educational piece. It can be viewed daily as an ornate object, but upon deeper contemplation, reveals centuries of history, tribulation, and, ultimately, transcendence."