12/1/17: Maria Svarbova is an incredibly disciplined photographer. Fascinated by the sterile, geometric aesthetic of old Socialist Era swimming pools in her native country of Slovakia, Svarbova used them as both location and inspiration for her fantastically regimented, retroesque photo series called Swimming Pool. The photographer is in control of all aspects of her shoots, from the perfect positioning of her models to the vintage-feeling colors and backgrounds to the impersonal lighting and spectacularly-arranged shadows and reflections.
“The figures are mid-movement, but there is no joyful playfulness to them. Frozen in the composition, the swimmers are as smooth and cold as the pools tiles…Despite the retro setting, the pictures somehow evoke a futuristic feeling as well, as if they were taken somewhere completely alien.”
But though her intent is to remove the joy from her photos, I find them incredibly compelling and not at all depressing. Their eerie perfection feels surreal, like weird scenes from a confusing-but-not-entirely-unpleasant dream. I absolutely love them! (But I know I’m something of an odd duck.)
You can look at all of Svarbova’s hypnotic photos on her website.
All images property of Maria Svarbova.