City of Miami Beach Adds Sanford Biggers to Collection Through Legacy Purchase Program

Visual Arts

City Adds to Public Art Collection
Sanford Biggers at OVR: Miami Beach –
Art Basel’s December Edition of Online Viewing Rooms
—Based Upon a Public Vote —

The City of Miami Beach is pleased to announce that it has acquired Sanford Biggers’ Something for Nothing, currently on view in Art Basel’s OVR: Miami Beach, for its 2020 Legacy Purchase Program. Presented by David Castillo Gallery, the work, entitled Somethin’ Close to Nothin’, garnered the greatest number of public votes as part of the city’s Legacy Purchase Program. This year, the Art in Public Places Committee elected to add work from a Miami-Dade County based gallery, an artist who lives and/or works in Miami-Dade County, and/or by an artist who has a significant connection to the Miami-Dade community to the Miami Beach public art collection. María Martínez-Cañas presented by Fredric Snitzer Gallery and Myrlande Constant presented by CENTRAL FINE, two highly accomplished artists were also considered.

“The Legacy Purchase Program allows the City to invest in creativity and engages our residents in a meaningful way,” Mayor Gelber said. “Our community participates in voting for their favorite work of art and is part of transforming Miami Beach’s meaningful art collection.”

Sanford Biggers’ Somethin’ Close to Nothin’ will join the Miami Beach Art in Public Places collection and will join celebrated works by Franz Ackermann, Amoako Boafo, Ellen Harvey, Elmgreen & Dragset, Joep van Lieshout, Joseph Kosuth and Ebony G. Patterson.

The Legacy Purchase Program is made possible from the Miami Beach Convention Center’s Art in Public Places contingency fund. This fund is dedicated to the acquisition of public art, that includes the purchase and future maintenance of the artwork. All acquisitions fall under the Art in Public Places ordinance and guidelines.

About the Artist

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) creates works that integrate film/video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance in a syncretic, multi-disciplinary practice in which he intentionally complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. He was awarded the 2017 Rome Prize in Visual Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2018), the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2016), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2012) and the Brooklyn Museum (2011), among many others. His work has been shown in important institutional group exhibitions including the Menil Collection (2008) and the Tate Modern (2007), as well as recent exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017) and the Barnes Foundation (2017). Biggers’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Everson Museum, Syracuse; the Bass Museum, Miami Beach; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; and the Legacy Museum, Montgomery, among many others. His work is also included in major international private and corporate collections such as UBS. Sanford Biggers’ work has been the subject of over twenty museum group and solo exhibitions in the last year, including ICA Boston, Tufts University, Phillips Collection (D.C.), Stanford University, American Academy in Rome and numerous others. A museum solo exhibition of his quilt-based artworks, Codeswitch, is currently on view at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (September 9 – January 24, 2021). The exhibition is organized by Bronx Museum Chief Curator Sergio Bessa and Chief Curator of the Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans) Andrea Andersson. The exhibition will travel and is accompanied by a publication. Biggers was born and raised in Los Angeles, and currently lives and works in New York.

About the Miami Beach Art in Public Places Program
The Miami Beach Art in Public Places Program is a City of Miami Beach program for commissioning public art. The program was created in 1984, with its ordinance adopted in 1995. The program allocates funds totaling 2% of all capital costs for City projects and joint private/public projects making it one of the most progressive Public Art programs in the United States. Appointed by the City Commission, the AiPP Committee’s seven members serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Commission. The program is administered and curated by Brandi Reddick, Cultural Affairs Program Manager and Joshua Carden, Art in Public Places Coordinator.

About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives such as The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, Art Basel Cities, and more recently Art Basel Inside. For further information, please visit

Contact: David Simantov