The shapely 45-foot nude steel woman, loomed over Treasure Island’s palm tree-lined promenade, stuck in the blissful throes of a euphoric dance move. Denise Beaudreaux of Oakland wandered the figure’s grassy residence, tears streaming from her eyes as she watched the towering figure.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Beaudreux said, dabbing at her eyes. “I would hate to see it go. I would really hate to see it go.”
Turns out the figure is going... sort of. Since artist Marco Cochrane first installed his sculpture Bliss Dance on the island’s great lawns more than two years ago, rust has been slowly gnawing away at her steel skeleton. Cochrane is now trying to raise the money to weather coat the sculpture.
“If we don’t do this in a couple years, it will be unfixable,” said Cochrane. “We’ll have to just throw it away.”
The sculpture was originally designed to withstand desert dust, not salt air. Cochrane built the sculpture for the Burning Man arts festival. But following its week-long run in the Nevada desert, Cochrane persuaded the Treasure Island Authority to allow him to set-up the figure on the island. The dancing woman was originally set to live on the island for a year, but then two years passed and the dance continued.
Since then, the figure has drawn countless visitors who stand in her shadow, photographing her graceful frame while attempting to imitate her lithe pose.
“It feels great to have people come here and see people enjoy this,” said Cochrane, who is frequently mobbed like a rock star once visitors learn he is the sculpture’s creator.
Cochrane is hoping to raise $16,000 through an Internet Kickstarter campaign to protect the sculpture. He said the money would pay for equipment to remove the figure’s head and arms, enabling crews to access the inside to weather coat internal supports and replace wiring.
The director of the Treasure Island Authority, Mirian Saez, said she hopes the sprawling steel ambassador will be able to remain on the island, at least until the island undergoes a mass redevelopment in the coming years.
Cochrane said he’s discussed plans with the island's developers to allow the sculpture to remain permanently, with perhaps a little company.
“I’d like to do a sculpture park,” said Cochrane. “San Francisco-based artists, large pieces and do a hundred sculptures.”
In the meantime, Cochrane hopes to restore his 45-foot muse before the rust renders her structurally unstable and the curtain comes down on a truly blissful dance.