Client: Burning Man Project
Location: Black Rock City, NV, United States
Completion date: 2023
Artwork budget: $425,000
Lead Artist | Lead Builder
Leave It To NiNo
Burning Man Project
ATABEY is represented as a fish leaping off the ground. The goddess of fresh water to the Taíno people of NiNo’s homeland. Given the environmental challenges Puerto Rico has experienced recently, we chose to honor her spirit. She was made out of steel and metal, solar powered and it stands 18 feet tall by 36 feet long.
ATABEY is the supreme goddess of the Taínos, who inhabited the Caribbean, mostly in Puerto Rico. She's worshiped as the deity of fresh water, representing the Earth Spirit, Divine Mother.
As Puerto Rico has been rebuilding post-Hurricanes Maria and Fiona through the communal will and ingenuity of locals and their diasporic kin, so too are Taíno in the wake of the devastation of their culture.
We honor ATABEY's symbolism in order to bring attention to the state of the Earth and the dire consequences of today's dominant worldviews.
As a Puerto Rican artist, the dedication of this piece to my people is extremely important. Just a few years after the hurricanes and earthquakes, the island is still in a state of needing constant assistance. Even right after our BM2022, they got hit with Hurricane Fiona and we witnessed the little improvement since Hurricane Maria. Our intention is to give the island a voice and not only bring joy and emotional support, but spread awareness about the state of our planet.
ATABEY's legacy is to respect our waters and land. We committed to incorporate sustainable choices in the build and within our art support. We sourced renewable/recycled materials. We incorporated solar panels to power LED bulbs for ATABEY's Treasure internal lighting.
Burning Man Honoraria Art Grant Recipient. Two (2) years in a row Winner of the Excellence Necklace Factory Award, created to give Signposts of Stature to those citizens of Black Rock City who managed to actually make magic. Sculptors, Architects, Writers, Mechanics, Painters: anyone who dared to build something World Class – and also managed to break into The Future with their efforts. ATABEY's Treasure is been mentioned in many articles as one of the BEST art installation at the event in 2022 and 2023.