Judy Starkman is a director, photographer and life-long swimmer with a professional career in commercial directing and advertising. She created The Secret Life of Swimmers, a unique public arts project on display as large-scale banners along Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles, California.
Each character in The Secret Life of Swimmers is seen in the regalia of his or her everyday life and, in an identical pose poolside, baring all. Or nearly all. The banners feature such real-life characters as a UCLA English professor, a local chef, a truck driver, a firefighter, a young mother, a veterinarian, and a physical trainer who lost a leg in an accident. Like Judy, all are self-proclaimed lap-swimming “addicts” who have a found a special kinship and community at the Culver City Plunge in Culver City.
The first subject was Blake Allmendinger, a dedicated swimmer and a professor of English at UCLA who specializes in the history of the American West.
Another subject was Barry Shore, an entrepreneur who woke up one day completely paralyzed with Guillain Barre’ syndrome.
Another subject was Jason Christopher, a personal trainer who lost a leg in a traffic accident.