FRANCIS LIVINGSTON is fascinated with dramatic architectural structures. Using oil on wood panels, he depicts antique roller coasters, the rhythmic effects of water towers on old rooftops, and unique configurations of yesteryear’s movie theaters and amusement parks.
The artist honed his skills in California, where he absorbed the Bay Area look — bold and free impressionistic brushstrokes, emphasis on shape rather than on line, and an abstract approach to realism. Yet the tone of Livingston’s art — its most essential characteristic — is in the vein of the Ash Can School of the early 20th century.
In Coney Island and Santa Cruz — known for their turn-of-the-20th century amusement parks, beaches and playground decor — Livingston has found a wealth of subject matter. He documents the exhilarating feeling of being confronted by the enormity and grandeur of a majestic roller coaster. Or he portrays gargantuan Ferris wheels surrounded by brightly colored, circus-like tents with a carnival atmosphere. Add to this the artist’s love of nostalgia and mood and what emerges are paintings that exude a uniquely spirited ambiance.