Renowned Louisiana painter George Rodrigue died Saturday of cancer at a hospital in Houston.
The 69-year-old painter started out depicting scenes from Cajun life and culture. He became world-famous, though, for his Blue Dog paintings in the 1990s.
The character was inspired by the Cajun fairy tale of “Loup Garou,” a sort of werewolf. It became the star of a corporate campaign by Xerox.
John Bullard is former director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. He says he loved Rodrigue’s early work. Like many art professionals, though, he was leary of the popular Blue Dog at first.
“But in 2000 I went to Paris on a trip, and driving in from the airport were dozens of billboards advertising Xerox and featuring the Blue Dog," Bullard remembers. "I thought, 'I can’t resist this anymore, it’s just too iconic.' And that’s how I came to succumb to, and really love, the Blue Dog. And George I think was surprised by its great popularity and the way it spoke to so many people.”
The Rodrigue family will hold a funeral for Blue Dog painter George Rodrigue on Thursday, December 19, at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Mass is at 10:30 a.m., with visitation after until 2:30 p.m.