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On the boardwalk -ilk, r.erc ro,rgher places in those cla1.s, .- ' -kt ,h:r in:tead of even-thing iust Lreing Di:::cr n.-.t. ,aIs Lri tlgsrc.n, 'Thcrc arcnt ntanv bc.ar.ir., alk, lcli nt,l. L.iLr rhis .rr,e ]-racl ti-re o1cl roller coasrer ,rn.l all oi thar charlcrer. I n'as .rble to see the conrrasr be nleen tl-ie slncl. rhe boardwalk. ELr-rier,r,,

L - . ' :- :: r ..,r:rr]ri r-.lks rilr or:r gil a]., : :: -- - . -,ril l-ri-s rrtistic carccr. Hr:. n.-rr'rsr :ir,ilrL oi paintings ar Sue Greenuoocl Fir-ie r:: Ln Lagur-r:1 Bcach ri-ilI fiatr-ue nerv examples of :ir:sc n orks along s irh some oi his urban scenes. It's prob.iblr- il-re rl-ring I'r'e done rhc most and the lonsest and rs detinireh-

t.hat I startcd with,"

savs

Lir.ingston. "\tars aqr.. I lir"ed in the Bal, Area and rn,ould go do* n ro L.irie r likc Santir (iruz beach and irang out tl-rcr.. I .l:rir.l kroking at the boardrvalk rh,, lar. -t ls-and it .i.a-s pretff run clolvr-r and look,-.i : L.rr lrki (l,rner'lshnd :rt the tirnc." Li., ir-rssron r. rs ar:1.,-.rc.l io rhese areas because

it sas

oi rhe l.righr

col,rrs ;',nrrls,rd uith the natural colors oi rhc beaci-r .t: ,.;ll a: rhc appcal ol secinq such pl,rcc. in \-arioLi: :.rr:.) Lrl di\fepair.

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the amusetnent par:k rides ancl rhe pcople on the boardr.valk; the combination of :rl1 tl'rose elements is rvhat intrigued me. So i startcd doing paintings of that, then rvent to Neu, York, sarv Coney Isl:urd, and started painting those too."

Vhile

Lir.ingston u,as interesred

in

the

nosra]gic elernent of the areas :rnd possibly the idea of the clisr:epair of the once beautiful objects, these ir.nages dicln't provide a link to his childhood -I'hough experiencc u.itir sirnilar objects. he adn-rits to probabh'fa,rt:rsizir-rg about such plirces as a child, the be:run'of rhese pl:rces to hjm is directlv related


to the architectural

shapes and pictorial

puzzles they present.

"The colors, the architectural space,

the 1930s, 40s and 50s buildings, all of this interested me," says Livingston. 'A lot of my work always goes back to architectural shapes, especially the older architecture from past eras. I like to experiment with color quite a bit, and rvhen I start a piece, I dont have an1'thing in mind. The best thing for me to do is to keep it fairly undefined so I'm not settling on one direction early on."

Livingstont current boardwalk pieces are more composites of many different sites instead of recreations of one. He believes that this process allows the vierver to relate more to their own direct personal experience.

"When I started doing these again. I started combining them; Id take, sar', the \Tonderwheel in Coney Island, put part of the roller coaster in Santa Cruz and then something from the Lakeside amusement

Park

in

Denver and just combine the

diflerent things and build my own theme, my own world," says Livingston. "\7hen people see it, they say it reminds them of Coney Island or somewhere else and that's satisfi.ing to me because I'm creating the world I'm painting and it takes them off to these different places. This is also very iiberating to me because there's a real sense ofcreation there. I'm not just confined to exactly what I see. And I think that is how memory works as

well."

Along with the boardwalk pieces, will include several movie theater paintings in this new show which

Livingston

also come from his love of old architectural

srructures and design.

"I like the simplification, the beautiful design and the lines of these art deco pieces, and I really gravitate to those thearers," says Livingston. "'W{hen I paint rhem I like to imagine what they were like -n rheir hevday, so they really feel alive. I'll ri-: it ro another fantasy realm and make i: -.;.m like there is activity at the theater.

\,r:

people but possibly

a 1930s car in

::L-:rr- h's the memory of the theater that l'::- irr and rvhat people respond to." r

ii.zer lirk to the

txltibiting gallerl

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Francis Livingston - American Art Collector - March 2008