Hobo Jungle

Accession Number
2002/1.177

Title
Hobo Jungle

Artist(s)
Uncle Jack Dey

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1955-1978

Medium & Support
Testors model-airplane enamel on composite board

Dimensions
23 1/4 in x 29 5/8 in (59.06 cm x 75.25 cm);23 3/8 in x 29 1/2 in (59.37 cm x 74.93 cm)

Subject matter
Having worked as a trapper and logger as a young man in Maine, Dey often depicted scenes from this experience. The artist received his nickname, Uncle Jack, from neighborhood children whose toys he repainted and repaired, and the paint used to repair toys is likely the same used in his paintings. Dey was known for his “seriocomic” style: a combination of serious themes, such as homelessness, with surprisingly comic and lighthearted imagery.

Physical Description
This painting shows a landscape with white trees in the background, and men in the foreground; some of the men hold tools in their hand. The men are amongst tree logs. A large pot cooks over a campfire and is labeled in red paint "HOBO STEW". There are four black birds flying in the sky, and a gray donkey stands next to one of the men. The painting is titled in red paint (l.l.) "HOBO JUNGLE" and signed in black paint (l.r.) "UNCLE JACK".

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
landscape

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
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Keywords
Birds
Dutch ovens (cookware)
Figures
axes (tools)
crows (birds)
donkeys
fire
food
log (wood)
men (male humans)
self-taught artists
trees

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved