Cindy Sherman Designs a Pool Float to Support + POOL, a Prospective Public Pool Project

By Ahnna Lee

Let it be known that artist Cindy Sherman would “rather be swimming.” In an effort to raise funds for + POOL, a non-profit public pool project in New York, Sherman has designed a pool float adorned with Oops (2017), one of her famously outlandish phone selfies. The cause is close to her heart — + POOL is a self-filtering, plus-shaped public pool intended to float on the river separating downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, providing an oasis for the residents of New York. 

First appearing on her Instagram page in May of 2017, Sherman’s selfies are not considered traditional self portraits, rather they are exaggerated imitations of women morphed by cultural and societal perceptions. This is a specialty of the artist, whose celebrated early series of black and white photographs loosely resembles a broad array of clichéd female subjects through similar theatrical gestures and body language.

Meticulously conceived using her own phone and its photo-editing applications, the digitally sculpted portraits emphasize the severe application of clown-style makeup, warped facial and physical features, wig-like hairstyles, and skin conditions accompanied by a high concentration of filters and effects.

Some works are guided by facetious text provoking identifiable female stereotypes: “Time for a detox!,” “I’m so edgy,” and “Ready for fashion week!” These rendered selfies have been well-"liked" by her nearly 200,000 thousand followers for their exaggerated and playful flavor. The Oops pool float will surely make a splash of its own.

Sherman’s ‘Oops’ pool float will be debuting at + POOL’s Summer Pool Party this month on June 20th from 6pm-9pm at The William Vale. To support the project, tickets to the + POOL Summer Pool Party and float launch are available here. Guests may also order floats before the event by contacting Jancy Butterworth at

To find out more information about +POOL, please visit here.

Ahnna Lee is a New York-based writer and editor.

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