This is Atta's fifth project for the Smithsonian Institution.

American Enterprise strives to show an honest portrayal of America's economic history including our country's use of slaves in the 1800's. The exhibition depicts the the economic impact of slavery on the US economy as well as the human impact this terrible practice had on the slaves themselves.

Because the figures are interacting so closely, we had the models come to the studio to block out their poses.

The Smithsonian team in charge of the project directed the models over Skype to get the exact look they wanted from the figures.

project description

Once the final piece was installed, the Smithsonian wrote an excellent article describing in detail the scene the figures are depicting as well as explaining their intentions in depicting the business of slavery. American Enterprise chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business—and American life. It does not shy away from the darker moments, including slavery, in our country's history.

To read the article in full, click HERE.

  • The models came in to work on the most effective arrangement. This was the final pose chosen by the client.
  • The rough castings of the figures were assembled to make sure they fit organically.
  • Here, the figures have hair and clothing added.
  • In the final piece, the clothing has been resin-hardened and painted.