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Casey Riordan

American, born 1973

Posing with Casey Riordan's Shark Girl. Photograph by MK Photo.

Shark Girl,

Public Artwork Details

Currently on View


Painted fiberglass


Public Art Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of A. Conger Goodyear, by exchange and Product of the Public Art Initiative partnership with Erie County and the City of Buffalo, 2014

Location: Canalside (Get Directions)

Shark Girl is the absurd, hilarious, and bittersweet creation of artist Casey Riordan. While Shark Girl might appear sorrowful or lonely, there is also a comic element to this “fish out of water.” In Riordan’s first public sculpture, Shark Girl patiently waits, legs daintily crossed, hands folded, for a companion to join her.

Appearing in nearly all of Riordan’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Shark Girl was originally conceived as the artist reflected upon the existential conundrums of life, love, family, and loss. Shark Girl can be seen as Riordan’s diversionary tactic or as her mechanism for confronting the challenges of contemporary life.

Shark Girl’s yearnings and desires for normalcy and acceptance trigger equal parts laughter and empathy. The boulder upon which she sits gives viewers an opportunity to bring the work to life by taking a seat and initiating a friendship—or taking a photo—with this bizarre half-shark, half-girl.

About Casey Riordan

Casey Riordan (American, born 1973) earned her BFA from Ohio University in 1994. Her work can be found in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Cincinnati Art Museum, the University of Cincinnati, and Ohio University. Visit Casey Riordan’s Website

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

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    Jaume Plensa's Silent Poets, 2012, was also on view at Canalside in 2015–2016.