Zócalo Public Square: Wet and Wild

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The Chlorinated Water and Scantily Clad Bodies of Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982

NATHAN SWIMMING LOS ANGELES MARCH 11TH 1982, by David Hockney

No dream of Southern California is complete without a swimming pool. What started as a totem of status and privacy became, in the postwar years, an affordable luxury for middle-class families who wanted a taste of the celebrity lifestyle. Even the empty pool came to take on meaning: a project just begun, or a home abandoned.

The pool is also a shape-shifter: a reflection of whatever the viewer wishes to see. The iconic images in Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982 show us what some of the great photographers and artists of postwar America discovered in these watery indulgences.

View the pictures here: [View with PicLens]