If we were to ask a group of people to make a list of things you can find on the floor of a swimming pool, the signature of a genius such as Pablo Picasso would certainly not be among their answers. Here are five projects that fuse swimming pools and art together, including a fashion icon’s first taste of designing a swimming pool, the ingenuity of plastic architecture, the work of a New York urban artist, and some dynamic and thought-provoking geometry.

On the floor of the swimming pool at Villa El Martinete is the great stamp of none other than Pablo Picasso. The artist painted and signed the swimming pool floor in October 1961, when the luxurious Malaga mansion was owned by his friend and famous flamenco dancer Antonio Ruiz Soler.


In 2013, Karl Lagerfeld temporarily swapped fashion design for pool design. Lagerfeld designed an evocative light constellation for the floor of the Métropole Hotel swimming pool in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Furthermore, inspired by The Iliad and The Odyssey, the designer created a poolside mural of a series of glass panels with images of models in traditional Greek dress.


The Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich is the creator behind “Swimming Pool”, a work of art in the gardens of the 21st Century Museum of Art of Kanazawa, Japan. At first glance, this piece appears to be like any other pool, until looking down and seeing museum visitors walking around quite happily –and clothed– under the water.

New York artist and social activist Keith Haring painted a permanent mural with images of mermaids, fish, swimmers and dolphins at the Carmine street public pool in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Painted by Haring in 1987, the mural was restored a decade later by the artist’s foundation, a true icon of New York street culture from the 1980s.


Architect Lee F. Mindel’s private pool at his house in North Sea, New York, features this impressive red cube, designed by American sculptor Tony Rosenthal between 1983 and 1984. The cube, which is poised on its tip, is made of aluminium and has a volume of almost 12 m3.