06/26/2013 11:02 am ET

Sanford Biggers on the ImageBlog

Quilt #15 (Buddha Bless), 2013, Repurposed quilt, fabric treated acrylic, spray paint, and silkscreen, 89 x 70 inches. Collection Fran and David Horvitz, Florida, Courtesy the artist and David Castillo Gallery. Photograph by Alissa Christine.
The artist paints and sews decorative motifs and complex systems of strongly symbolic images on civil war-era and pre-1900 quilts. The quilts are believed to be tools of communication used by the escaped American slaves in the 19th Century to communicate with one another on their journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad. They hung at "stations," outside houses and on the façades of churches in the Deep South.