A new tech campus being built in San Leandro, California, had been approved by city officials with the stipulation that developers include a work of public art to help beautify the property. Developers then decided on a sculpture called “Truth Is Beauty” — a 55-foot-tall statue of a nude woman — as the art installation to adorn the new campus space. In recent days, builders have begun erecting the sculpture, which, so far, includes just the legs, and according to a local TV news report, most people in the community actually support the arrival of the artwork. The usual narrative for these types of stories is community outrage and handwringing, followed by a campaign to stop the offending spectacle. Granted, there are some people who have voiced concerns over the appropriateness of such a work appearing in an outdoor public space, but the city manager, Chris Zappata, said those in favor of the statue outnumber opponents by a two-to-one margin.
“I didn’t think of it as offensive in any way, because it’s just a woman posing who happens to be naked,” Breana Lankford told KPIX. “And it’s pretty see through,” she said, referring to its partially transparent steel design. “So it’s not like there’s going to be any explicit details.” Sally Wrye said she “really liked it. I think it’s a beautiful sculpture. Obviously, the artist is extremely talented. But I’m not sure it’s appropriate for public display.” Wrye suggested it might be better displayed in a museum, where people can make a conscious decision to view it.
The sculpture is the work of artist Marco Cochrane, who debuted it three years ago at The Burning Man festival, according to his website, and is one in a series of three large sculptures collectively known as the Bliss Project. The sculpture is of a real woman, Deja Solis, and it’s meant to depict her expressing her humanity. The video below shows a time-lapse of workers erecting the statue at Burning Man.
Read the full story at KPIX.