Perched along the edges of swimming pools or bobbing just above the water’s surface, the subjects of Maria Svarbova‘s photographs enliven the interiors of vintage swimming pools. Focusing primarily on Soviet-era architecture (previously), the artist carefully composes figures wearing bathing suits and caps within the colorfully tiled, cavernous spaces. Digitally manipulated to accentuate repetition and precise symmetry, the figures align perfectly as if frozen in the moment just before diving in.
Svarbova often captures a mood of detachment through the expressionless faces of her subjects and an aqueous color palette, blurring the distinction between the past, present, and future. Routine actions “are reframed with a visual purity that is soothing and symmetrical and at times reverberant with an ethereal stillness,” reads a statement. “The overall effect evokes a contemplative silence in an extended moment of promise and awareness—a quality difficult to achieve in the rapid pace of contemporary life.”