Lotus (3) by Sanford Biggers
About the Work
The lotus flower is a divine symbol in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, representing the purity of the soul and the detachment of the body and mind from earthly concerns. The lotus is a motif central to Sanford Biggers’ artistic practice, which he likens to a visceral, pre-conscious notion of art-making where being open to “unknown possibilities” and to improvisation are key.
Executed in grayscale, Lotus (3) seems to be a detailed and beautiful image reminiscent of traditional woodcuts. Closer inspection, however, reveals that the intricate patterns decorating the lotus are actually representations of thousands of men and women bound fast within its petals. The shape of each petal and the configuration of the bodies within correspond to an eighteenth-century diagram that shows the layout of human cargo in slave ships crossing from Africa to America.
Notes From A Limerent (preparing to play Taiwan) production still by Kalup Linzy
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Artspace is collaborating on a special limited edition portfolio of 15 prints and photographs. Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny, and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Rush Philanthropic is dedicated to providing inner-city youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color.
Ingrid LaFleur, curator of the 15 x 15 Rush Portfolio says, “I wanted to bring together an aesthetically diverse group of prints that represent a cross section of artists who have shown at Rush Arts Gallery. These prints by both emerging and established artists provide a glimpse of their current artistic practices. I enjoy how the works create a layered conversation and intersect socially, politically, and spiritually.”