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The tragic fate of Atlas, the Titan condemned to hold up the sky on his shoulders for eternity, has been the subject of numerous artistic rende- rings, the Farnese Atlas, being the oldest (150 A.D.) and most famous example. The original design of this interpretation by Jorge Luis dates back to a sketch completed in 1999. From there, six steel modules were produced, each contain 52 stars. They were then welded together into a 500 lb. celestial sphere with a total of 312 stars. Atlas, however, is only a figurative depiction of the Greek myth. It was designed as a public in- stallation at the lower level of the Marcus Garvey Acropolis. There, it will provide an abstract representation of the multicultural patrimony of Har- lem, specifically the individuals, or “stars”, past and present, who have contributed to its cultural vibrancy. For Jorge Luis, their creative and cul- tural legacy constitute a “universe” whose origins are concentrated within the neighborhood. The term ‚atlas‘ also refers to first cervical vertebrae of the spine which is responsible for supporting the head. The steel orb can therefore be construed as the “head” of the sculpture, and an allusion to the brilliant thinkers and intellectual capital of Harlem.

Atlas, 1999-2017

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