The Swimmer’s Artist – Eric Zener

Eric Zener is a Northern Cal based artist well known for his underwater themes. Out of his studio in Sausalito, Zener creates work that leaves you both breathless and buoyed by his vision. If you’re a former swimmer, viewing his paintings is like being comforted by the phantoms of your past breathless life. In New York, his work can be found at a gallery not far from where I write this. I met him once there, and unsurprisingly he told me that all three of his children are swimmers in the Bay Area.

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The Art of Swimming – in the year 1587

428 years ago a swimmer and artist named Everard Digby published De Arte Natandi – Latin for The Art of Swimming. His series of woodcut illustrations were instantly influential, and could be considered one of the world’s first swimming manuals. It seems Digby had a swimmer’s idiosyncratic spirit: According to the Public Domain Review, Digby was expelled from Cambridge the same year his swimming studies were published. His crimes against his school? Blowing his horn and shouting across the campus. Take a click through this gallery of his vintage swimmer art…

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