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Eric Zener’s Swimmers

Vanishing Point

82 Degrees



It’s about the concept of transformation and renewal and replenishment; that sense of discovery that water physically offers us. I also think there’s a subconscious reason why we’re drawn to bodies of water. When we’re around water or in water there’s a universal sense of calm, a personal baptism. It’s cleansing in so many ways: psychologically, physically. Water’s a powerful force. It’s both friend and foe.
Eric Zener (via The Morning News, which is also the source of the quote above)



Hmm. About 30 minutes after browsing through Zener’s site and 15 minutes after posting, it occurred to me that Zener’s swimmers are too white. It’s not just that they’re all skinny—that would be understandable, especially if he were painting professional swimmers—it’s that they’re all recreational swimmers in empty (probably private) pools. How different his paintings would be if he went down to the municipal pool and watched the children play!

Some of the solitude of his paintings probably has to do with his notion that water is an encounter with something transcendent.

At least the three that you’ve posted are very high-school summerish, Fast Times at Ridgemont-ish, only a little more solitudish…

At least the ones that you’ve posted have very little transformation and renewal and replenishment... and much more I’ve gotta pool out back and every Friday night I paint my toenails red.

I didn’t say it was a very sophisticated phenomenology of water.

i didn’t say taht the images weren’t cool… they are, just in a very Diamond Barish sort of way

hey! you’re cheating, you hadn’t posted the plunge before… i was commenting only on the three top pics

No, they were all posted at the same time. You didn’t notice.

no, it’s that for some reason, explorer, which is the only browser on the laptop didn’t register it.

i noticed the fourth when on the pc with firefox.

i have always found something compelling about hyperreal painting, even if it is largely surface.

that said, there is something haunting about the solitary figures, but i think it comes out more in these two

largely because you can’t see their faces. in fact, the faces of most are either not visible or obscured. this makes the paintings more interesting than my original ridgemont high assessment