Artist Sanford Biggers Explains How Our Misunderstandings of Classical Sculpture Inspired His Rockefeller Center Takeove

Sarah Cascone, Artnet News , May 7, 2021

Sanford Biggers is taking over New York’s Rockefeller Center this spring with a campus-wide art installation headlined by Oracle, a monumental bronze sculpture that—standing 25 feet tall and weighing in at over 15,000 pounds—is the Harlem-based artist’s largest work to date.

Delayed from a planned September debut, Wednesday’s unveiling “was amazing just because of the sheer size and magnitude of the work itself,” Biggers told Artnet News. “To open right now, as the city is starting to open up and the weather is getting nice, and to leave this as a gift in the city I live in is an extreme honor.”


Biggers first started talking with Art Production Fund, which organized the show with New York’s Marianne Boesky Gallery, about staging a public art project over a decade ago, and the current project has been in the works for about four years. When the APF team suggested Rockefeller Center as as a possible site, Biggers was immediately enchanted.


“It was like a lightbulb popped up over my head,” he said. “When Raymond Hood was designing this complex, he was grabbing from stories from antiquity, mythology, art… to wind up with this beautiful Art Deco monument. I wanted to reference various cultures and histories as well.”