After some months of ongoing but mild controversy, Marco Cochrane's "Truth Is Beauty" will be lit up for the first time in its new San Leandro home this evening. The statue, which first appeared at Burning Man in 2013, was acquired by developers Westlake Urban in 2015 to become a public art centerpiece of their San Leandro Tech Campus, Phase I of which is also having its grand opening today, according to a release.
The sculpture, one in a series of three monumental pieces, was inspired by Cochrane's childhood friend who suffered a sexual assault when she was 9 and he was 7. The piece is meant to "represent self-acceptance and self-love by a woman who is safe, whose voice is clear, and whose power, purpose, and humanity shine."
But the nudity of the dancing figure upset some San Leandro residents, with one telling the San Leandro Times last year, "Truth is beauty, but tacky is forever."
San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter heralded today's big unveiling, saying, "The grand opening of Phase 1 of SLTC and the lighting ceremony for Truth is Beauty are major milestones for San Leandro." The formerly industrial city is hoping to have a future as a tech hub, and Cutter says, "The striking building design and the beautiful statue will have a stunning visual impact while also generating renewed awareness that San Leandro is a welcoming place to live, work, and prosper in the 21st Century."
This evening's ceremony, which goes from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., is technically invitation-only, but the enormous statue should be visible, and lit up in multiple colors, from San Leandro BART.