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.

The place I've always dreamed of taking a dip is...

Alvaro Siza's Leça De Palmeira swimming pool near Porto, Portugal.

My 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.