Truth Is Beauty is one of three colossal sculptures created for Burning Man by the Bay Area artist Marco Cochrane. Each of these sculptures captures the beauty of the female form but goes further. Marco’s works are designed to help us see women as total human beings instead of objects. Not to detract from Cochrane’s message, but I decided to kick off today’s post with this photo because I spotted a bit of green along with the truth. Happy St. Pat’s Day.
Now that I have finished my series on Burning Man’s creative and sometimes wacky mutant vehicles, I am ready to take on another aspect of the art that seems to bloom and thrive in the Black Rock Desert, sculpture. I am going to start with something big, really big— colossal women. We are talking 40 to 60-foot-tall sculptures here! Three artists have been responsible for creating the giant women of Black Rock City, Marco Cochrane, Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann.
Das Mann and Cusolito, working as a team, produced a series of works at Burning Man between 2005 and 2007. Mann’s interest in monumental art started with a degree in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University. Cusolito’s introduction to the art world followed a more formal path with studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art.
These photos are from Mann and Cusolito’s 2006 and 2007 art at Burning Man.
My introduction to the art of Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann was this tall woman with her arms reaching toward the sky. She was located in front of the Center Camp Cafe which is considered a position of honor for art at Burning Man.
She was accompanied by this woman kneeling in supplication.
Another photo of the two with the Black Rock Desert for background.
This one shows the art’s location in relation to Burning Man’s Center Camp Cafe.
Close up of the ‘skin.’
For 2007, Cusolito and Das Mann created Crude Awakening.
This sculpture caught my attention. Fire shoots out from the hands.
Check out the chain hair.
Marco Cochrane was born in Italy to American parents in 1962 and raised in the Bay Area. According to his website, “he identified with the female struggle with oppression and saw feminine energy and power as critical to the world’s balance.” His art reflects this belief. In 2007 he attended Burning Man and would have seen the sculptures by Das Mann and Cusolito. Eventually, he returned to Burning Man in 2010 with the first of his own colossal sculptures, Bliss Dance. In 2013 he brought Truth Is Beauty to Burning Man and in 2015, R-Evolution. I’ve blogged about each of these creations in the past. Following are a few of our photos.
Cochrane’s first work, Bliss Dance, was my favorite. She now resides in Las Vegas just off of the Strip.
I like the playful nature of Bliss Dance.
A close up.
I introduced this post with a night photo of Truth Is Beauty. The sculpture shares this picture with other Burning Man art.
This photo provides a side view. The people give perspective.
A back view. Each of Cochrane’s works are powerful from any angle.
R-Evolution is the third and final of Cochrane’s sculptures at Burning Man. I like how R-Evolution fits in with the mountains here. (Photo by our friend Don Green.)
A night-time view of R-Evolution’s back.
And a front view to complete this post.
The Sierra Trek: We backpack through 106 degree weather, and the Sheriff pays us a visit.
More of Burning Man sculptures.
22 thoughts on “Colossal Women… The Sculptures of Burning Man”
Some very beautiful voluptuous women. Amazing!
Yes they are, Gerard. –Curt
Amazing sculptures. Bliss Dance is my favourite too.
She struck me as having quite a personality, Peggy. Cochrane used the same model for all three sculptures. –Curt
They are all wonderful, especially Cochrane’s work. I imagine in person they are very powerful.
Yes they are, Alison. I was drawn back to them over and over, happily riding my bike across the dusty playa. –Curt
Fascinating! The Cusolito and Das Mann ones remind me of some sculptures I admire in my new city. I even checked to see if the “Tolerance” figures along Houston’s Allen Parkway were perhaps by the same artists, but they are not. I like both ‘yours’ and ‘mine’!
I checked out the Huston sculptures, Lexie, and I can see the similarity and why you like them. I also thought the symbolism of their ‘skin’ quite interesting.
Since you are down around Huston, BTW, here’s a blog you might like: https://shoreacres.wordpress.com/. Linda lives south of you and is one of my favorite bloggers. She writes beautifully. –Curt
Thanks for that tip – I will check her out!
I wonder if visitors from outer space landed at Burning Man what they might think. Amazing sculptures!
Sorry this comment got lost, Sue. I found it in my spam file. There is a good chance that the aliens caused it to move there, wanting to hide their presence at Burning Man. Check out tomorrow’s blog (Saturday, March 24.) 🙂 –Curt
Curt thanks for rescuing me from spam! We are in Africa until mid April so I likely won’t be doing any visiting but will do my best to read it on return. Thanks for letting me know!
Africa is a good place to be. Say hi to the elephants for me! –Curt
Will do! 🙂
Brilliant – should have been used for IWD!
They would certainly had made an impression. –Curt
They are huge! I can’t imagine the work that goes into them.
Hundreds, even thousands of hours Timi. Also a lot of money. Whole warehouses are taken over in their production and an army of big rigs move them to Burning Man. –Curt
These figures are fascinating — thanks for the detailed shot of “hair” so I can get an idea of what it takes to duplicate a human body in metal. Awesome. And thanks, too, for including people in some photos so I can get an idea of scale. I still don’t understand how you build something like any one of these women nor how they stand. But maybe it’s the mystery that forms part of the appeal. Pretty incredible, if you ask me.
It takes engineering skills as well as artistic skills, that’s for sure, Rusha. And the fact that these colossal statues stand out in the desert adds to their mystery. –Curt
I still don’t get it. Not that I have an ounce of engineering experience, but I still don’t see how those statues stand!
Now you have me wondering, Rusha. (grin) –Curt