Jesse James Home is a fantastical pieced wood and collage structure that repurposes popular visual culture with a sense of humor and adventure. Incorporating cut out book pages, a carved miniature skull, a light bulb and chain, this construction is one of the finer works by an artist who called himself "a great genius" and who, according to his long-term friend Murray Smither, turned down an offer of an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York.
Of African American, Mexican and Native American ancestry, George White Jr. (1903-1970) was a lifelong Texan and his images explore his cultural heritage in its many forms. Killing the Mountain Lion (lot 80) speaks to his Native American identification, while Jesse James Home is concerned with an idealized “Wild West,” which appears frequently across his oeuvre. He was not a prolific artist, carving and constructing around eighty works over the course of his life, far fewer of which were assemblages like this one. Another of White's significant assemblage works is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington, D.C.