The American Mastodon recently changed his IM icon. Previously, his image of choice was that of a Mizpah Shriner. In an effort to class it up a bit, the AM has utilized the painting skills of John Steuart Curry, one of the Mastodon's favorite painters and a true disciple of the American Middle West.
John Steuart Curry began his professional career as an illustrator. In this sense he resembles members of the Ashcan School of the early twentieth century, who likewise abandoned journalistic art to paint scenes of American life. A native of Kansas, Curry concentrated on midwestern themes, believing that art should grow out of daily experiences. Along with Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) and Grant Wood (1892-1942), Curry participated in regionalism or American scene painting. This grassroots art movement of the 1930s advocated painting local scenes in a realistic manner, reflecting the isolationism of America in the interwar period.
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