The first solo exhibition by the California based photographer Deanna Templeton (US, 1969) just launched at Gallery Fifty One Too, called ‘The Swimming Pool’, a sun-lit series of color, black-and-white and Polaroid pictures showing different models photographed from above while swimming naked in Templeton’s pool.
Templeton was inspired for this project after she shot a picture of her husband, professional skateboarder and artist Ed Templeton (US, 1972), skinny dipping in their pool, and was intrigued by the way the light was reflected in the water. Over the next eight summers, from 2007 until 2015, Templeton invited her friends and acquaintances to do the same, encouraging them to express themselves in the water. The one-on-one connection between the photographer and the naked model resulted in intimate pictures that simultaneously capture the feeling of freedom, weightlessness and total isolation from the outside world one experiences while being alone under water.
On a pictorial level ‘The Swimming Pool’ can be considered as a study of the light and human form under water. Templeton exploits the artistic opportunities offered by the ripples in the water surface, caused by the elegant movements and the breathing of the model, that refract the light and distort the contours of the body in unpredictable ways. Both in this fascination for the constantly changing surface of the water as in the bright turquoise of Templeton’s colour pictures, this series may remind the viewer of the pool paintings the British artist David Hockney (Great Britain, 1937) made since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1964, the earliest containing a male, often naked subject plunging in the water.