What is Americana Art?

The tradition of Americana art goes back to the beginnings of the nation when artists who were mostly untrained created works of simplicity and directness that depicted ordinary American life. The subject matter was almost always homey and decidedly rural in character. This art is also often described as "primitive" because of the use of very simple or no perspective, and size relationships that suited the artist's whim (or whimsey!) rather than any relationship to reality. The 20th century's most famous primitive artist was Grandma Moses and when many Americans think of Americana art it is her work that first comes to mind. The expanding interest in country style decorating has brought a resurgence in primitive designs. Many of today's Americana artists still depict the late 1890s to the 1920s or 30s, and this is what makes Mark Frost's art unique, for his nostalgic works highlight the simple, yet familiar times of the 1950s and 1960s. Instead of the horse and buggy, he illustrates simple small town and country scenes with the classic automoblies, trucks and tractors of the post war era.

© 2004 Mark Frost