In this swimming pool artwork, two female subjects relax poolside. One rests comfortably on the pebbled deck while the other leans against the edge, her lower half in the water. The pair contrast in both posture and build.
The lithe subject on the right basks in the sun with one leg straight and the other bent at the knee and tipped towards center, one arm straight along her body and the other thrown over her head. One closed eye is barely visible and we are to assume both are shut due to the radiant sunlight.
The Venusian subject on the left has a more alert position, leaning out of the water and resting her weight on her hands and one forearm. She gazes out of the frame with an almost concerned expression, as if she is investigating the source of a noise or watching someone approach. Her position and demeanor are much more reserved than her companion, with her arms partially obscuring her breasts.
Both subjects have goosebumps, calling to mind warm days spent in a crisp pool and glorious moments of emerging from cold water before the water evaporates off your skin and the sun warms you through.
Just as notable is what is absent from this swimming pool artwork. There is no chaise offering respite. There is no grill or patio umbrella in the scene. Except for a single potted plant and hints of landscaping, we are presented with the simple components of foreground subjects, midground and background. This indirect fact confirms the cinematic, rather than documentary, nature of the image.
Swimming Pool Symbolism
This swimming pool artwork is a slice of the good life, full of blissful optimism and possibility. The luxury to escape the swelter, rather than to toil in it, is afforded to this pair. Enjoying the sun-kissed stonework surrounding the pool underscores the optionality of summer heat as an indulgence endowed upon the affluent. The viewer may identify with such a lifestyle or aspire to it. The presentation is ambiguous enough that the interpretation is personal. One may even regard the image, and its raft of familiar symbolism, with a degree of satirical humor.
The barely crossed legs put the image on the verge of being explicit. The almost obscured busts similarly taunt the viewer. In this photograph, we are confronted with an idea eroticism rather than a statement.
The image is composed of a series of wedges: the shadowed greenery in the background, a narrow wedge of pool deck and tiles, the water, and the pool deck in the foreground. The water forms a diagonal progression, which is complemented by a line formed by the limbs of both female subjects. These lines encourage the viewer’s eye back to the center.
The colors in this image are muted and the tones are flat, giving it a timeless and retro feel without losing any details of the scene. The golden brown tones evoke magazines from the 20th century, although no context clues point to any specific era.
For the fine art collector, this swimming pool artwork would make a striking acquisition, with its limelight on the subjects and simple, uncluttered composition.