When Cajun artist George Rodrigue began his series of Blue Dog paintings in 1984, he had no idea that they would consume the greater part of his life for over two decades, and that the mysterious Blue Dog—inspired by his studio dog-turned-model, Tiffany, and the Cajun loup-garou folk legend—would become a wildly popular international icon as well. Blue Dog Speaks is the first book to prominently emphasize Rodrigue's painting titles, one of the most important elements in the creation of a Blue Dog painting, alongside the works. Rodrigue used Blue Dog painting titles to provide insight—whether humorous or nostalgic or sad—into the human condition.
In an introduction, Rodrigue revealed how an idea that originated in childhood tales grew far beyond; his Blue Dogs moved beyond Louisiana into formerly uncharted territory to express larger concepts about contemporary life. His titles—such as "Right Place Wrong Time" and "Tiffany Remembers the '70s"—along with other, more abstract ones such as "All by Myself with My Happiness,"captured this shift in style and content.
But most of all, there are the paintings themselves, magnificently displayed, their titles inviting us to ask, “What is this dog all about?” and “What was the artist trying to say?” Even though the definitive answers remain a mystery, the titles provide a clue…
The Blue Dog, created by George Rodrigue (1944-2013) is one of the most recognizable images in the world of contemporary art. Steeped in the legends and Cajun myths of Rodrigue's Louisiana upbringing, Blue Dog catapulted to worldwide fame in the early 1990s, and has never looked back. Featured in high-profile advertising campaigns (Absolut and Xerox) and on the set of TV's Friends, Blue Dog has been on an unprecedented journey—from a single painting hung in Rodrigue's gallery in New Orleans to becoming an international pop icon.
Four US presidents have commissioned portraits with Blue Dog, and Rodrigue's celebrity clients include Tom Brokaw, Whoopi Goldberg, Harry Connick Jr., and Sylvester Stallone. Always a crowd-pleaser, the Blue Dog series has set attendance records at museum shows and exhibitions across the country.
Rodrigue Studios has galleries located in Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana; and Carmel, California.