A blog about art

These 5 young artists have an obsession: Pools

The pioneer was David Hockney, but these 5 young artists have followed in the footsteps of the pool wizard, making water art. Here are his best images on Instagram for an optical dip.

If you like the wonderful pools of the British David Hockney, you will love these 5 young artists (photographers, illustrators and painters) who have made water their obsession. From the midcentury Californian women of the hyper-realistic painter Danny Heller to the socialists of the Slovak Maria Svarbova, they are aquatic oases that are seen, admired; although, for the moment, they do not touch.

1- The Socialists of the photographer Maria Svarbova

At just 32 years old, the pools of this Slovakian woman are like moments frozen in time of an almost cinematic beauty and a meticulous aesthetic reminiscent of the Soviet era. It started in 2014 and has not stopped. The geometry of its compositions and the colors are the brand of the house.

2- Danny Heller’s Midcentury Californians

We interviewed him at his last exhibition in Madrid at La Fiambrera a year ago. This painter who practices hyperrealism from his refuge in Palms Springs, California, portrays in detail the houses of the 50s in the middle of the desert in this part of the world. Midcentury architecture is his thing, as are the relaxing and photogenic pools he draws.

3- The Soo Burnell Stories

This photographer who lives in Edinburgh has spent years immortalizing pools with many years and a lot of beauty on top, from London to Glasgow, Manchester or Paris. Geometry, light and composition are the key elements of his work, which breathes balance above all else.

4- Jessica Brilli’s graphics

The work of this American painter in her early forties is very reminiscent of that of the British David Hockney. “The scenes I paint are a reflection of my childhood in the suburbs of New York and Long Island. The cars proudly set aside on the road, the meticulously mowed lawns, the neighbors’ swimming pools and the architecture of the 60s, that’s what I get it, “he explains. His paintings made from vintage photographs that he visualizes over and over again are essential and poetic.

5- The illustrated ones of Ana Popescu

This Romanian visual artist who lives in Vienna has worked for us precisely drawing swimming pools. Summery, uncomplicated, graphic and very appealing. So are his aquatic images, in which we would love to dive

Three elements to DESIGN a POOL today: water, plants and stone

Hopper, Hockney, Hollywood – everyone celebrated and transfigured their designs, because the pool has long been a place of longing and a symbol of mood synonymous with sweet relaxation and clean refreshment. But times are changing and the glamorous turquoise and white oasis seems to be losing its prominence: sunbathing is no longer considered a carefree pleasure. For many, chlorine no longer smells of hygiene and purity, but of harsh chemicals. And classic gardens with lawns, boxwood and gravel areas seem anachronistic.

Not to mention, they have little to offer the trained design eye. “Nothing is more boring than when you stand at the patio door and can see the garden at a glance,” says Peter Berg from Sinzig in the Rhineland, one of the few internationally successful German garden designers. The turquoise rectangle, which glows in thousands of satellite photos of western cities, doesn’t make uniform green any more exciting either.

But how can swimming pools be made more natural, sustainable and aesthetically contemporary? Peter Berg advises always planning it as part of an overall garden concept. Beyond all the myths surrounding the pool, the pool simply represents the element of water. “Whether you are inspired by nature or by Japanese garden masters or classic English parks,” says Berg, “you will always find three basic building elements: water, plants and stone.” Landscape designers work intensively together from the beginning and then bring in a pool builder to implement the pools.

First of all, the size and location of the pool can be optimally adapted to the conditions of the estate. An infinity pool can be placed on the slopes that level the terrain as well. If you choose robust natural stone for the edge (the German company Kusser even offers complete granite pools), the pool blends in discreetly with the surrounding landscape. Harmony is greater when the same stone is used elsewhere: for stepped slabs, block steps or in the form of rocks that support terraces or create level differences in flat plots and make them look larger and more interesting. In addition, stone does not give maintenance work: “Unlike gravel, they acquire patina, they become beautiful and valuable.” If possible, Berg recommends using stone from the area, but in any case they are resistant to frost.

There’s another reason it makes sense to plan pools comprehensively:

“If there’s no gardener, privacy is often neglected,” Berg warns. With trees and shrubs, privacy can be created. A simple yew topping could form the base, but no more: “You don’t want to look at a green wall!” This creates a multi-layered green screen that changes with the seasons, and also hides the possibly less demanding architecture of the neighboring house. Especially when bordering strict modern buildings, the pool area needs a bit of discipline.

And not only the design has become closer to nature, but also the content of the whole: “Every gram of chemistry saved makes a difference,” says Michael Pauser, Managing Director of Ospa Schwimmbadtechnik. Filtration is crucial: the more impurities that are removed mechanically, the less chemical disinfection will be required. Thus, we will feel that the water is more natural and we will also avoid the typical “pool smell”. The water can also be heated with solar energy and good insulation and pool cover increase energy efficiency.

The question remains: what to do with the older pools? Can you reform them without too much effort? Technically, they can be remodeled and brought to something more contemporary and they can also be equipped with modern counter-current systems or smart control via home robotics or the smartphone. However, if you are looking for a “comprehensive solution”, as Pauser recommends, you will be able to optimize user comfort and energy consumption. And in terms of design? “If the pool is solidly built and the house has good architecture,” says Peter Berg, “then it is a dream to integrate it and update it with plants.” And, unlike new buildings, where landscape planning is often the victim of tight budgets: “It doesn’t get to the point where budgets have skyrocketed by the market.”