Swimming In Art: Infinity Pool Opens


 Most art exhibitions have a sign that says “Don’t Touch.”

At the Rockaway Artists Alliance T-6 Gallery at Fort Tilden, artist Frank Traynor invites you to not only smell, see and feel his new show, but take a dip right in.

“The Infinity Pool” installation exhibition opened on Sunday, August 28, and runs through September 25. As you enter the intimate gallery, you are greeted by beach chairs, life vests, conch shells and even an electric lighted snail. Lighting is dimmed and one wall is piled with tall fresh reeds, which gives the damp air inside a distinct smell of the sea.

At the center of this is the Infinity Pool itself. The steel framed pool is round, 14 feet across and 4 feet deep. The tranquil waters are divided in three with a center lane down the middle. Its mirrored sides reflect this corridor back on itself. Its bottom is scattered with shells and other shore found objects which shift to form new patterns.

And yes, as several people did at the opening, you can step into this conceptual piece of art. “The opening day was so great,” Traynor said. “So many friends and strangers came through and swam through the pool. People were pretty into it.”

Some who took the plunge were ready as they came from the beach and were already in swimwear. A row of white towels hung neatly on hooks along one gallery wall. As she dried off, one woman described her reaction to the Infinity Pool. “Water is a healing element. For me it’s a comfort.” 

“It was amazing,”  another woman said as she emerged from the water.

Many others who were a little confused when they heard ‘there’s a pool in there’ decided to have a look for themselves. “I didn’t go in, but it was great,” stated a woman who happened to stop by with two other friends and her small dog.

“The infinity pool is another opportunity for full body aesthetic experience. It's just something else to do,” Traynor explained.

“The pool is sort of a continuation of a larger project- the conclusion of a trio of works. It follows the Nothing Mud and Seltzer House last summer and a sauna over the winter,” Traynor said.

The long running Perfect Nothing Catalog is Frank Traynor's umbrella platform name for creating his wide-ranging installations, col­­lections, workshops, and interactive environments.

Besides the splash-making art, a “special concept dinner” was presented on Sunday evening.   “We had an incredible dinner in the back yard of the Rockaway Artists Alliance gallery. Vanessa Thill, Claire Mirocha and Jen Monroe worked together to serve oysters and jellyfish granitas, a beautiful perslain salad, vegetarian hotdogs with pineapple and squid ink and homemade ice cream,” Traynor said.

As for the new exhibition, Traynor and RAA invite all to experience Infinity Pool for themselves. Come in, the water’s fine!