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Heroic perspectives of the clty. ainting in

his

signarure.

expressionist stvle. Francis Livingston completes large. close-up images ol br-rildings. sroretionrs. fire escapes and roofiops found amongst the vernacular architecrure oi \es- \ork Ciry's SoHo. "People reallr- har-e been enior-ing

my largc rrork. and rhc imrg.rr is r continuarion of rhe SoHo Series

I

har-e

been doing. Bur ri-irh the paintinqs

in mY upcoming exhibition

I'm

nrrating on rhings more up close," sats Livingston. "Facades of buiidings, rooftc.p shors-up hieh, Iooking downsma11 qroupinqs of buildings, maybe just a tbcus on nr'o specif-ic buildings next to each other insread oi a ri'ho1e street. That conce

sort oi rhinq."

And, u'hile Liringston has

alrvays

shied ar,var. fiom including figures in his rvork, he is still someu'har inf'luenced bv

key figurative painters. "I've always been interested Are

a Expressionism like

in

Bav

Richard

Diebenkorn," says Livingston. "I love the way he put together shapes and

colors-

's a rectangle, here's a triangle, here's a shadow. And, rvhar I like about these city scenes is that it's it's like

here

you move ten feet, look the other way and you have an entirelr. endless,

different painting."

"l lived for a long time in San Marin county in the

Francisco and

cit1,." says Livingston. 'And when I was there, I couldnt care 1ess. I didnt wanr ro paint buildings but did beach and boardwalk scenes. It wasnt until I moved away that I really started to concenrrare on these ciry scenes." But ever since, it has been almost the only thing he has been able to think about. "My interest gets renewed ail the time, everyday," says Livingston. "You

have a whoie different thing going on depending on the time of day, the effects

of that and the light, the weather conditions. It's all about shapes and when you stand back you want the painting to retain its solidity." "

Buildings have a massiveness ro says Livingston. "They are nor

them,"

totally flat so you get many

angles,

shapes and that lends perfectly to m,v way of painting. I'm not a detail painter. instead, I choose to lay on color, and

then another color until

I

get

it right."

Besides the color, the buildings also

allow Livingston to experiment rvith another, equally important aspect of his paintings.

"Balance,

to me it's all about "If I have a

balance," says Livingston.

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water tower on the left,

I need to klorv how you balance that with one in the center. Does it feel right in terms of

progressivelr'thicker and thicker and the paint itself is becoming more and more important," savs Livingston. "It's not

color and feeling? Some images are also

realiy that different, just expanding."

more expansive, more focused and I'11 do

of the works, have always been collectors Livingston's of color. to his use drawn "It's really interesting across the board," says Livingston. "People refer to the work as colorful but I use color more as an accent. I enjoy using muted colors Iike grays and less pure color. There is a lot of color but it's not really bright as I'm trying to capture a specific mood." o

of a spotlight effect on several buildings and have them in focus with intense color and light and more texture so you have the feeling of an almost more

sculptural effect."

Livingston has seen texture become

increasingly important

in

these new

paintings as well.

"The brushstrokes are

get

ting

linb to the exhibiting gallery go to

For a direct

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Francis Livingston - American Art Collector - October 2006