March 7, 07:37 PM GMT
50,000 - 70,000 USD
1944 - 2013
KING KONG DOG
acrylic on canvas
84 by 96 in. (213.4 by 243.8 cm.)
Executed circa 1995.
The Rodrigue Gallery of New Orleans
Acquired from the above by the present owner in November 1997
George Rodrigue began his career by painting Lousiana landscapes, followed soon after by outdoor family gatherings and his renditions of southwest Louisiana 19th-century and early 20th-century genre scenes. However, it was his Blue Dog paintings, which Rodrigue painted from the mid-1990s onward, which would catapult the artist to worldwide recognition. This series was based on a Cajun legend called loup-garou, of which the present work is a prime early example. Of his Blue Dog paintings, Rodrigue said: "The yellow eyes are really the soul of the dog. He has this piercing stare. People say the dog keeps talking to them with the eyes, always saying something different. People who have seen a Blue Dog painting always remember it. They are really about life, about mankind searching for answers. The dog never changes position. He just stares at you. And you’re looking at him, looking for some answers, ‘Why are we here?,’ and he’s just looking back at you, wondering the same. The dog doesn’t know. You can see this longing in his eyes, this longing for love, answers." (William Yardley, “George Rodrigue, Painter of Blue Dog, Dies at 69” in The New York Times, December 27, 2013)
Rodrigue’s fame has steadily increased since his death in 2013, with his auction record set in 2015. Rodrigue was also an active philanthropist—founding a non-profit organization advocating the importance of the visual arts in children’s development – and was heavily involved in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina.