Leanne Shapton, one of our favorite artists, competed in two Olympic swimming trials. Her new book Swimming Studies dives into her personal journey with the sport, from being a competitive teenager to an adult who loves the simple act of swimming. We asked her more…

Swimming and painting are similar… because they both require striking a balance between physical skill and trust.

When I swim I feel… balanced.

My first memory of being underwater is… realizing that my brother was joking when he told me I was one of the humans who could inhale water.

My favorite spot to swim is… Stadtbad Mitte, Berlin.

Place I dream of taking a dip is… Alvaro Siza’s Leça De Palmeira swimming pool near Porto, Portugal.

Favorite painting of a pool is… Leon Kossoff’s Children’s Swimming Pool, Autumn Afternoon, 1971. You can practically smell the chlorine, hear the bellyflops and feel the lurking verruca.

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