Artist George Rodrigue spoke in detail about this particular artwork:
“Unlike the black bayous and dark trees of my early Cajun paintings, I use color here to reflect a modern Louisiana. In the art world, the use of color, especially flat, bright color, is modern, in the Pop Art vein. I contrast those colors with the dog, the only thing that is blended and painterly, making both the dog and overall composition more important. The alligator, like the landscape, is flat, because it too has been here for millions of years. The dog is part of today’s world, born a mere twenty years ago out of my head.”
“The river represents our cultural history. The waterways of Louisiana were the early highways of its inhabitants. We had no roads; we just had the water. They were the natural fairways for commerce, development, and everything necessary for settlers to expand. The Indians knew this for fifty thousand years before we came along. They canoed down the Mississippi River from way up North, which is why we find tomahawks that include rocks from Illinois and Missouri in Louisiana’s Indian burial grounds.”
Note: Although Rodrigue printed this edition, he did not complete signing it. According to the appraisal firm, Matthew Clayton Brown, there is a well-established precedent for completing an artist’s edition posthumously —-notably with editions from the Estate of Andy Warhol concerning artwork Warhol had created but not yet signed upon his death.
In other words, this is not a new print. It is the original Rodrigue edition. Because Rodrigue did not complete signing the run, his estate is completing the numbered series using his official estate stamp, picking up where he left off, with #222/450. A Certificate of Authenticity with each print will reflect this signed/numbered distinction, as well as the fact that this is an original edition created in 2011 by George Rodrigue.
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