Calvin Livingston, Outsider Artist, is one of the younger of the self-taught artists. Born in 1970 in Tuskeegee, Alabama, he was inspired by his cousin Charlie Lucas, better known as the "Tin Man." Calvin works with tin as well as plywood and found objects. The cluttered small trailer-studio is set amidst a big collard patch in the backyard of his mother's house where he lives with his niece and brother.
Livingston's colors are bold, almost shocking, and his work emits a raw talent. His inspiration comes "from wild dreams which transcend the physical." He says, "I am the Pablo Picasso of Prattville. I believe it's true in my mind."
In 1990, encouraged by Glenn St. Jean, Livingston had his first showing at Nirvana Contemporary Arts Center in Montgomery, Alabama. Later that year, in an article for Art Papers, Christine C. Neal wrote that "Calvin 'Red Dog' Livingston creates large, figurative works that manage to look naive but sophisticated at the same time," comparing his primitive, tatoo-like symbols and designs to the powerful yet economical strokes of the German impressionists. With no formal training aside from an association with Charlie Lucas, Livingston reveals a world no longer purely naive.