Sculpture of nude woman raising eyebrows in San Leandro

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- She's tall, she's beautiful and she's completely naked and that's why a sculpture being assembled in San Leandro has a lot of people talking.

At the center of San Leandro's new tech center something shapely is taking shape. When it's done, the sculpture called "Truth is Beauty" will be five stories tall. It was first shown at Burning Man three years ago and later on Treasure Island.

For artist Marco Cochrane, it's personal.

"Written around the base of it, it says, 'What would the world be like if women were safe?'" Cochrane said. "When I was seven, my friend was raped outside of my house. She was 9-years-old in Berkeley."

In the second of three sculptures he calls, The Bliss Project, he wants to start a dialogue. "Talking about the humanity of women past, their like bodies, and how this culture sexualizes them, pretty much every culture does," Cochrane said. "Yes, she's nude, yes, she's beautiful, but she's a person."

Though the sculpture's not even halfway assembled the dialogue about it is already in full swing and just about everyone has an opinion.

"I think it's good to see images of women that are strong and joyous and this is both," said one woman.

Comments ranged from positive to curious.

"It makes me ask questions. What does it represent?" said one man.

With a few not so happy.

Johnny Harris worries how kids will see it. "I think it shouldn't be there because this is a kid area right here you know?" Harris said. "What it is is making kids think they want sex. That's not cool. They're too young."

Cochrane's aware of the criticism and he invites it.

"The sculpture is literally about that issue that nudity and the beauty of women is basically something that makes their lives unsafe," Cochrane said.

The message is lost on some.

"I don't really get a message from it, to tell you the truth," said one man.

"I don't know what a naked statue would have to do with stopping violence toward women," another man said.

But among the people ABC7 News asked, the ones who liked it the most were women.

"It's showing that women are important and we are special and we mean something," said another woman.
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