The Art of Harlem: Sanford Biggers

In tribute to Harlem Week, we will feature a closer look at some of Harlem's local artists. We start off our series with a resident artist of our own Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster. Contemporary artist Sanford Biggers can be considered a gem to the Harlem community. Not only is he known for his deep-rooted African American art, but Biggers also teaches at Columbia University in hopes of passing on the necessary knowledge that is intrinsic to art and history.  His pieces can be found at the Studio Museum as well as on Red Rooster's walls. Recently, Food Republic featured an in-depth interview with Sanford about his many influences and even his thoughts on cooking. Click here to read that interview. A frequent patron to Red Rooster, we caught up with him and asked him a few questions about his upcoming exhibitions.

Apart from the pieces you have right now at the Rooster and the Studio Museum, what other exhibitions do you have coming up?

"I have a couple shows coming up; one at the Brooklyn Museum called 'Sweet Funk' and also one at the Sculpture Center entitled 'Cosmic Voodoo Circus'."

Are you using any new mediums in any of these shows?

"Yes, actually 'Cosmic Voodoo Circus' features a new video that I shot in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil where I use a new video medium and in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, I will also feature a new piece where I create a sculpture that catches daylight and creates artistic patterns on the floor. The patterns will be huge and since the space will be about the size of a football field."

I know music has a great deal of influence in you and your work. Which of your favorite artists would you say have the most influence?

"I love Prince, he's hands down my favorite artist. But as for which of my favorite artists have the most influence on my work, I would have to say Miles Davis and all of the other greats that played with Miles, like Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane. They have more influence in my work."

Since your studio in Harlem, you must spend a lot of time around here. What are some of your favorite places to hang out in Harlem?

"I love coming to Red Rooster, of course, I also like 67 Orange Street Lounge, the Shrine, and I love the Cold Room at Fairway Harlem!"

What's your favorite dish at Red Rooster?

"There's a lot of good food here so that's a hard decision to make! I love Helga's Meatball's and the Tacos and the Blackened Catfish come in close seconds. I love how the menu always changes. The next new dish that I'm going to try will probably be the Lamb and Sweet Potato Hash; that sounds delicious!"

For more information about Sanford Biggers, visit his website: