Lot 565: George Rodrigue (American/Louisiana)
December 3, 2016
New Orleans, LA, USALive Auction
Description: George Rodrigue (American/Louisiana, 1944-2013), "Inferno", 1992, acrylic on canvas, signed lower right, 30 in. x 24 in., framed. Note: George Rodrigue first painted the Red Dog in 1990, near the beginning of his transition from the Cajun loup-garou into the Blue Dog, an image that moved well beyond the Cajun ghost story. Often interpreted as the darker, or devilish side, of the Blue Dog, the Red Dog was at that time more of an alter ego. Throughout the early 1990s in particular, paintings of the Red Dog alongside the Blue Dog or alone appeared in the artists body of work. As seen in the painting offered here, the black and white version of the dog most closely resembling Rodrigues original inspiration, his former studio dog, Tiffany, also occasionally joined the group, making an enigmatic trio and furthering the idea that the dog could have a split personality. The often used Rodrigue symbol of candles (presumably representing the three dogs, although most likely also influencing this works dramatic title), the looming dark and anthropomorphic trees and a background awash in swirling, intense colors combine for this truly spectacular and mysterious canvas titled Inferno. As Rodrigue continued with his explorations of the Blue Dog later in his career, the explanation for dogs in colors other than the famous blue would shift, as the artist made clear with his paintings that he was primarily creating something that does not have all of the answers, but rather poses questions about life, while at the same time leaving no doubt as to each compositions deliberate design and George Rodrigues passion for and study of color. Ref.: Rodrigue, Wendy. Red Dog. Musings of an Artists Wife. www.wendyrodrigue.com. January 28, 2010. Accessed October 22, 2016.