UPPER EAST SIDE — When you can't make it to the pool, let these images soak in.
Photographs of the city's pools and beaches, from the 1980s to the present, are the focus of an exhibit at Central Park's Arsenal Gallery on display until Aug. 26.
The exhibit — dubbed "SPF16: NYC Pools and Beaches in Contemporary Photography" — includes artist Tobias Hutzler's aerial shots of the masses gathered at McCarren pool and Coney Island during summer months, creating "a contemporary Where's Waldo" look, according to Jennifer Lantzas, the deputy director of public art at the Arsenal.
Other photos show locals horsing around at the pool in Sunset Park, bathers laying out poolside, men flexing and women soaking in the sun as they soak their feet.
Featured pools and beaches include Asser Levy in Kips Bay, the Bronx's Orchard Beach, Central Park's Lasker Pool, Astoria Park pool, Staten Island's South Beach, the Rockaways and Brighton Beach.
Photographers include Juliana Beasley, Damion Berger, Rona Chang, Bruce Davidson and Bruce Katz, among others.
Over time, the gallery's staff noticed that a lot of artists were focusing on pools because they're a universal space and they're often free, Lantzas said.
"This exhibit focuses not so much on landscape but the people who are using our spaces and facilities — it's an amazing cross section of New Yorkers," Lantzas said. "Everyone is on the same playing field, enjoying themselves and being refreshed. It's uplifting."
The exhibit is also meant to be nostalgic, she added.
"Most of [the pools] have been open for many years and seeing them triggers people's emotions and memories and encourages them to go to these places," she said. "It's great to be able to shed light on a facility that people might not know about."
The exhibit, located on the third floor of the Arsenal at 830 Fifth Ave., is free and open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 26.