In 1984, George Rodrigue painted thirty canvases to be included in a book of Cajun ghost stories, one of which was the legend of the Loup-garou, a werewolf dog that was said to roam the cemeteries and sugar cane fields of Louisiana. Having no image to reference, Rodrigue turned to a photograph of his dog Tiffany, who died years earlier. He manipulated the shape and stance and gave her coat a matted and scruffy appearance. Under the pale light of the moon, she appeared blue grey.
It wasn’t until 1988, at an exhibition of his work in Los Angeles that Rodrigue first over heard the phrase, “Blue Dog”, leaving the artist a lot to think about when he returned to his easel in Louisiana. Over the next two years he experimented with the shape, changing the eyes from red to yellow and giving the dog a much friendlier persona. These paintings from 1989 to 1991 are transitional images, where the Blue Dog has not yet left the Louisiana landscape, but is no longer a threatening loup-garou. Mardi Gras Dog is one of those paintings. Created in 1991, the focus of the composition is the Blue Dog dressed in Mardi Gras paraphernalia, painted as though it was a Cajun person, a ghost at eye level, trapped within the artist’s design and existing within an actual environment. This iconic painting celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year.
To commemorate the beginning of the transformation from Loup-garou to the Blue Dog, Rodrigue Studios is proud to release a stunning Estate-stamped stone lithograph, published in Paris, France of Mardi Gras Dog. Printed on high quality rag paper by a company still producing lithographs in the traditional manner, the colors of this lithograph are rich and varied and pays tribute to the enduring work of George Rodrigue.