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Bringing Back the Artwork of Burning Man, 2013

Over Labor Day weekend, the annual Burning Man festival descended on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, bringing with it rain, hail and a multitude of amazing art, created by participants. As an homage to the festival – named after a large wooden effigy that is burned in the center of the encampment every year – we’re rewinding to 2013, to honor a piece of artwork created by Marco Cochrane.

Cochrane, who has already contributed art cars – “mutant vehicles” that are unto themselves spectacular works of art – to Burning Man in the past, decided to up the ante in 2013. Drawing on themes of female empowerment, he created Truth is Beauty, a 55-foot-tall statue of a woman on tiptoe with her arms outstretched. It towered over the community last year, the largest structure by far.

A continuation of Cochrane’s three-part Bliss Project, she is composed of steel rods and tubing that Cochrane used to create a layered network of geodesic triangles (55,000 welds!) covered with a stainless steel mesh. He actually used a medieval sculpting tool called a pantograph to first create a six-foot clay statue, which was enlarged to make an 18-foot statue until she reached her final steel form.

Cochrane has set the bar at a dizzying height, even for Burning Man standards. We’ll continue to keep our eye on how the artists of 2014 answered back this year.

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