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Any owner of a Los Angeles pool, who will have seen the water level shrink day by day under the sun’s insistent suction, knows how unnatural the item is to the local climate. But its very unnaturalness is its most attractive feature. Having a pool in Los Angeles’s arid air can convey to the possessors of that pool–whether they possess it for an afternoon or for a decade–a sense of accomplishment similar to that brought about by backpacking into the mountains with a bottle of wine in your backpack. It is the fact that the thing does not belong in that environment, and that it took a considerable amount of effort to get it there, that makes it so desirable.

And yet, despite the unmistakeable unnaturalness of the pool to the landscape, there is the eerie accident, re-eerified by Schulman and Hockney, that the pool’s flat blueness seems to correspond to the flat blue of the desert sky. It is almost possible, when looking at the two colors in the same picture, to forget which one is artificial.

 

Project Single-family home
Location Mulholland Scenic Corridor, Los Angeles, California US
Client Confidential
Photos: Laure Joilet