GEORGE RODRIGUE | KING KONG DOG
1944 - 2013
KING KONG DOG
acrylic on canvas
84 by 96 in. (213.4 by 243.8 cm.)
Executed circa 1995.
This work is in excellent condition overall. There are textural and tonal shifts due to the artist's chosen working method and medium. There are two pinpoint losses at the extreme cetral left edge and two others in the upper left and lower right quadrants. There is a 1 ½ in. abrasion along the lower edge on the right side of the figure. No evidence of restoration is visible under ultraviolet light. Unframed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
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.