Visual Arts

Casey Cooper's Inflated Steel Triangles Add Splashes of Color to the Scottsdale Canal

Texas-based artist Casey Cooper's floating triangles may look like oversized floaties from a distance, but don't be deceived -- the pieces are actually made of inflated steel.

Through a process of welding, heating, and compressing, Cooper creates sculptures that look like they could be made out of light rubber (though the larger ones, in fact, weigh about 90 pounds). The sculptures, on view at the Scottsdale Waterfront, comprise the third and final installment of Scottsdale Public Art's Canal Convergence | Art + Maintenance.

See Also: - Isaac Caruso and Ashley Macias Paint Underwater Creatures Along the Scottsdale Canal - Form, Function, and Fish this Weekend at Canal Convergence | Art + Maintenance

Most of Cooper's work centers around triangles much like the ones in the canal.

"While in grad school I was cutting out and inflating all sorts of shapes and sizes -- I was making a lot of bad art," he says. "One night working late I decided to make a triangle and see what would happen. It was over after that."

For this specific project, Cooper says that the three sides of the triangle represent water, SRP, and the people who use the water.

This installation marks the first time Cooper's pieces have interacted with water, but it's something the artist has been thinking about for years. Attending Texas A & M Corpus Christi for his Masters was a big influence:

"The University is on an island and everyday going in I would look out in the bay and have thoughts of a sculpture floating out there," he says. "It's something I knew I had to wait on. If I would have just made an object one night and then thrown it out there it would not have received the same positive response that the Scottsdale piece has."

The pieces are certainly enticing in the canal setting -- just far enough from the water's edge to make you want to jump in to get a closer look.

Cooper's triangles may be inflated, but his ego is not. "I can not claim to be the inventor of inflating steel," says Cooper. "I don't think anyone really can. Elizabeth Brim is inflating. Stephen Newby is inflating. I'm inflating. And I'm sure there are more. I am interested in seeing where this fairly new process goes."

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Katrina Montgomery