New Orleans: The Blue Dog

The first time we saw this voodoo looking blue dog was at our hotel lobby when we checked in. Behind the front desk was this painting of Drew Brees. On his right hand side, a blue dog sitting on the ground, staring straight ahead.

Then we started seeing this blue dog everywhere we went. The Sheraton hotel on Canal Street had some sort of exhibition of this blue dog. There was this blue dog in Andy Warhol style paintings, alongside a jazz musician, or in front of a Southern mansion. Who exactly is this blue dog!?

第一次看到這隻藍色巫毒狗是第一天剛到飯店大廳的時候,但當時在這幅畫裡我認得的只有Drew Brees,後來發現走到哪都有這隻狗,Canal Street的Sheraton飯店櫥窗、入口和牆面放滿這隻藍色狗的畫,害我們一直在想這隻狗到底是誰!?

This mystery was solved as we walked to the back of the St. Louis Cathedral and saw this art gallery on Royal Street. A giant sculpture of this dog. Three colors, three facades. Slowly spinning in this art gallery of the blue dog.

隔天早上走到St. Louis Cathedral後面、Royal Street轉角,看到一隻超大旋轉紅黃藍狗,解開了這個謎團。

It’s the George Rodrigue Studio. He’s the artist. The blue dog is his signature character.

這是George Rodrigue的畫廊,這隻藍色狗是他的招牌。

The blue dog is based on the artist’s studio dog, Tiffany. This character is Rodrigue’s depiction of  a Cajun folktale character, Rougarou or Loup-Garou, which is werewolf in French. This character was originally created for a book illustration project. In 1980, George Rodrigue was commissioned to illustrate for a book of Louisiana ghost stories, “Bayou.” One of the Cajun mythological figures he painted for the book was the loup-garou. He used photographs of his studio dog, Tiffany, who had passed away for years, and created this blue and gray dog with yellow eyes. The first blue dog painting was done in 1984. And this character became popular in the late 90s and later on, the face of New Orleans. He worked with Xerox and Absolute Vodka on their advertisement. (See details about the origin of the blue dog in a blog post by George Rodrigue’s wife, Wendy Rodrigue.)

George Rodrigue is a Cajun artist who grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. Most of his early works were about Cajun landscape and lifestyle. Following Hurricane Katrina, George Rodrigue established the Blue Dog Relief Fund and raised $2.5 million selling a blue dog relief painting through the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, which is his nonprofit organization that typically supports art educational programs for the youth.

這隻狗是以畫室的已故狗Tiffany為藍本,畫Cajun民間故事的狼人(Rougarou or Loup-Garou),一開始是幫一本路易西安那鬼故事書Bayou畫插畫而創的人物,他要畫的其中一個角色是狼人,於是他找來他的狗Tiffany的照片,畫出這隻藍藍灰灰黃眼睛的狗。第一張藍色狗的畫是在1984年完成的,到了九零年代後期,這隻狗開始大紅大紫,後來變成紐奧良代言人,George Rodrigue跟影印機Xerox還有Absolute Vodka合作過廣告。(他老婆Wendy Rodrigue的網誌有詳細介紹藍色狗的起源。)

George Rodrige在路易西安納出生長大,早期的作品大部分都是Cajun的鄉村地景和生活,橡樹是招牌之一。卡翠娜颶風之後,他成立了藍色狗救濟基金,透過他的基金會 George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts捐了兩百五十萬美金,這個基金會平常是做美術教育和青少年發展相關的活動。

We went to his studio on a Saturday afternoon. That completely made my sister’s day. The staff was extremely friendly in answering all kinds of questions visitors had. Photography was fine inside the studio. I’m now thinking about getting a 2014 blue dog wall calendar on Amazon as a present.

我們在一個星期六下午去了他的畫廊,畫廊的小妞很熱心又很親切,回答了我們和其他路人的一百個問題。畫廊裡面可以照相,我最近在思考要不要買2014年的藍色狗年曆來當禮物送人….

George Rodrigue Studio

georgerodrigue.com
730 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone: 504.581.4244
info@georgerodrigue.com

10-6 Monday-Saturday
10-5 on Sunday

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2 thoughts on “New Orleans: The Blue Dog

  1. Pingback: New Orleans: French Quarter 紐奧良法國區 | Near and Far

  2. Pingback: New Orleans: Transportation and Hotel 紐奧良住與行 | Near and Far

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