Kick the Bucket

Artist Colin Livingston's conceptual diptychs -- which are steeped in our sterile commercial culture to the point that it's hard to say if he's embracing or lamenting the fall of civilization -- might not always be easy to understand. But most people who see them know they're supposed to laugh, at least a little, before they're appalled. Livingston's new show at Plus Gallery, The Art Bucket, simplifies the hazy message even further than past displays.

“His last exhibition here was one of the most explosive shows anybody in Denver has ever done," says Plus's Ivar Zeile. "He's always taking elements from the commercial realm in his paintings, but in this case, he's also linked them to the idea of paintings being derived from an 'art bucket.' That continues Colin's interest in the whole idea of consumers purchasing art and the complexities inherent in that. But he's pushing it into a new direction in this case: Since they're pop-art paintings, he references soda pop as a commercial concept.

“That's one thing I love about Colin,” Zeile continues. “His work comes across as tongue-in-cheek, but he's also true to the idea that he embraces it as much as anyone else. There's a genuineness to these brilliant ideas he has, based on what's out there in the world."

The series of diptychs, with their matched color schemes and unique branding logo, go on view at Plus, 2501 Larimer Street, during tonight's opening reception, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.; 100 beach balls printed with the fake logo will be given out free to reception guests. The Art Bucket continues through May 25; for information, visit plusgallery.com or call 303-296-0927
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: April 19. Continues through May 25, 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd