The Art of Burning Man

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Here’s a question for you…do you ever get out in your local area to experience something new? If the answer is no, you should! Regardless if it’s a hike in the woods, taking in a museum, or trying a restaurant for the first time.

Living in the Washington DC metro area we’re able to explore locally. From the monuments and memorials to the Smithsonian Institution museums and more. Plus, many of these are free. A few months ago the family and I decided to visit the Renwick Gallery’s exhibit No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is home to the museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative art. The gallery itself is housed in a historical landmark building that was built in 1859 and is only 1 block from the White House.

This exhibition was out of this world. Going into it, I thought I knew what Burning Man was and never had a desire to go, but now it’s on my bucket list. Just not sure if I can convince Briana to go with me. The show dives into the history of how every year more than 70,000 people converge on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for one week to experience enormous experimental art installations that are ritually burned to the ground at the end of the week.

To me, the show’s masterpiece is the Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane. Absolutely stunning. This 18’ figure is a replica of the 55’ original that stood at Burning Man in 2013. I stood in awe looking at her from different angles and couldn’t get over how beautiful she was. Cochrane says this is the woman open without the pressures and fears that often come along with having a female body. Originally the replica was to be installed on the Mall in Washington DC, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. So here she stood.


Upstairs in the Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon, David Best created a replica of the Temple which is made form recycled wood and ritually burned at the end of the annual festival. This work really hit home for me. Here you can sit, meditate, and remember those that left us too early.

The installation encourages you to leave a personal message, writing on a little piece of wood. I wrote a little something special to both my folks that passed 5 years ago. 

Throughout the exhibition, there were costumes, digital art, and some large pieces from Burning Man. 

A smaller Burning Man model.

A few more pieces of an amazing show!

The 10 principles of burning man:

Remember whatever it takes, just get out and go!

Categories Travel

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