Saturday, January 11, 2014

Paris World's Fair


Oil Painting by A. Liviy

Mesmerizing. That is how I'll describe it.

It is a mystery how this mid century depiction of the Paris World's Fair ended up in a small antique store in Martinez, California covered in cob webs. For those who have never set foot in Martinez, it is not known for its art collections. Or world travelers for that matter. But then again, folklore (aka. Wikipedia) suggests that the Martini drink was invented in this sleepy town so perhaps I am wrong.

A. Liviy
What I do know is that the artist of this beauty, A. Liviy, is unknown. I found one mention of his/her/their name on an auction website for a Parisian scene of the Seine that had no biographical information attached. As often with mid century cityscapes, I suspect that ours was originally purchased as a souvenir for someone who wanted to bring a piece of Paris' romantic lifestyle home. And for all I know, that could have been Martinez. Perhaps this same individual also enjoyed their martini shaken not stirred.

It now hangs above our living room couch.

Close Up
I have spent many lazy afternoons dreaming up stories about the subjects in the painting. The colors are so vibrant yet, at the same time, weary as if one was growing fatigued from exploring the fair. The individuals walking through the fair add to its intrigue while the ride in the distance provides a sense of thrill. It has become one of my favorite pieces.