Abandoned Diving Pool, Astoria, 2015, oil on linen, 10 x 14 inches
Over the years this location has always been in the back of my mind. I left it to brew in my head waiting for the right time for me to tackle a composition with so many components such as this one. It's hard to miss area of Astoria Park, especially in the summer when on one side you have a large pool filled with people trying to cool off, and just to the south of the fence is this site of an abandoned diving pool, left to decay for decades. When looking at the two it's difficult not to think about the vitality of youth and slow withering of things and beings with age. Once this used to be the venue for Olympic trials, it was from these platforms that athletes not only jumped into the water below but also to a brighter future. As it happens with most things, in time they are forgotten, left alone and soon they become a ghost of what they used to be. There has always been something about this place that attracts me, and in my runs through the park I would always stop to look at for a minute or two; a sign of respect and acknowledgement. Recently I learned that plans have been made to refurbish the pool into a public amphitheater, a nice plan, but wouldn't it be better to restore it to its former glory? Think of the greater good it could do to the community, it could give kids in the area something to do and aspire to. The idea of the amphitheater has was proposed a few years back, it is not sure how much longer it will take, but in the meantime, this Olympic veteran sits still aging and waiting for a second chance.
For more on the history of the Astoria Park Pool click here.