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Nude sculptures cast double the art

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

BRECKENRIDGE – The naked, human body holds plenty of mystery for sculptor Randy Cooper.He translates subtleties he sees in nude models into wire mesh sculptures. The pieces alone are a work of art. But there’s more to his creations than initially meets the eye.When the viewer shines light upon the sculptures, they cast shadows on the wall that show even more detail.”The resolution – when you shine light on it – is like a black-and-white photograph,” said Gail Eckhoff, who owns Portiera Designs in Breckenridge. “You see the muscle tone; you see the spine and the back and the neck. It’s gorgeous.”

“The sculpture is beautiful in its own right, but then you shine a light on it, and you get this wonderful shadow that sometimes has an aura all it’s own,” Cooper said. “You can see more clearly details I don’t even remember putting in.”Cooper created his first wire mesh sculpture after working with bronze, clay and artificial stone. He started with three Native American faces.”With the first piece, I put a neutral look on the face,” he said. “When I shined light on it, the shadow had this wonderful grimace, and I knew right then I had the right media.”He soon transitioned to torsos, which he mostly focuses on now.

“When I’m working on a new piece, I work with models,” he said. “The human body is so interesting. There’s so much detail in it. I just never tire of seeing the different poses and what one step will do to the body itself. I’m mesmerized by its infinite diversity. I pay a lot of attention to detail and what makes that particular person unique.”Cooper’s pieces range from 1 foot to almost life-size pieces. His average piece, about 3 feet tall, costs about $1,300, Eckhoff said.”People walk in and recognize him from all over the world,” Eckhoff said. “They really are attention-getters.”Cooper calls one of his most meaningful sculptures “I Love You.” It depicts a man and a woman side by side, embracing.

“The models for this timeless scene of two lovers silently sharing a moment of love were so much in love with each other that their love flowed through my hands into the wire,” he said. “The energy of their love made the ‘I Love You’ sculpture almost create itself.”Cooper gives a free demonstration of his sculpting from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Portiera Designs in Breckenridge.”I don’t get artists of this caliber coming in very often,” Eckhoff said.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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