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Jun 09, 2021
On my bucket list as an art collector is to own an original painting by Louisiana artist, George Rodrigue. If you are from South Louisiana, you more than likely are familiar with his visual depictions of Cajun-life, history, and folklore. But, mostly you know him as the creator of Blue Dog. We've seen on billboards, in magazines, and maybe even commercials(I'm not sure) Blue Dog sitting next to an Absolute Vodka bottle or printing himself on a Xerox inkjet printer bringing this little mutt commercial success.
So what's his story?
It all started with the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans.
A few years prior, Rodrigue was approached to create 40 paintings for a book of Louisiana ghost stories to be sold at the fair. Here's a link to the book if you're interested.
One story, entitled, SlaughterHouse, was about a sinister dog guarding a haunted house. This idea of an evil dog conjured up memories for Rodrigue of the stories told to him as a child about the Loup-Garou or to some the Rougarou. Legend has it that this werewolf-like creature lurks in cane fields and cemeteries looking for misbehaving children to eat. Those old Cajuns would go to any extreme to scare the heck out of their kids!
How was Rodrigue going to capture this mythical creature? He took to research and came across a number of photographs he had taken of his long-dead furry studio companion, Tiffany. He liked the strong shape of the figure and felt it a good representation of what he was trying to achieve.
Why paint the Loup-Garou blue? Rodrigue thought the night sky would cast a blue-gray shade on the dog's fur. And what's a werewolf without red eyes?
Rodrigue continued to paint the Loup-Garou here and there. But, it wasn't until four years later, at a sold-out exhibition in Los Angeles he heard visitors refer to the twelve Loup-Garou paintings as "Blue Dogs". And the Blue Dog took on a life of its own.
For a more in-depth story on the art of George Rodrigue click this link.
And always, Thanks for reading!
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