Friends and fans mourn the death of "Blue Dog" artist George R - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Friends and fans mourn the death of "Blue Dog" artist George Rodrigue

Updated:

New Orleans, La.- Friends and fans mourn the death of George Rodrigue, the creator of the iconic Blue Dog paintings. Rodrigue died Saturday night at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer.

As his studio companion "Tiffany" lives on through the Blue Dog, George Rodrigue will remain in the hearts and on the walls of many in Southern Louisiana and around the world.

"I think one of the greatest things about Rodrigue is that he's a story teller," said William Andrews, director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Before the Blue Dog, Rodrigue's paintings portrayed stories of New Iberia, his hometown.

One painting called Aioli Dinner is on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

"It tells a story through the way that it's painted, not just what has been painted, and in that way it's very masterful," said Andrews.

Andrews says it was one of Rodrigue's own favorites. Rodrigue painted it in 1971.

"As a son of Louisiana, I think one of his greatest desires was to connect a broader audience to the love that he had for the culture here," said Andrews.

Rodrigue was able to champion the powerful Cajun culture more than a decade later when his popular Blue Dog paintings took off. They were showcased in everything from an Absolute Vodka Campaign, to portraits of multiple U.S. Presidents.

"What he leaves is a vibrant and really international touch of Louisiana all over the world," said Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Romig said Rodrigue was an international sensation who kept his local ties strong through the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts and Youth Development, and by appearing at schools to teach.

"He's much larger than life, but did it quietly," said Romig. "He had world renowned stature as an artist, but at the same time, he went about doing this great work for the community, for Louisiana, with little regard for the publicity. He just did it because he loved Louisiana."

A bouquet of white flowers rested outside his French Quarter Gallery door as friends and fans honored Rodrigue's life and legacy on Sunday.

"George Rodrigue, anyone that knew him, knew him well or not, knew him as someone who had a deep and spacious heart. He was a very caring person and I think delighted in making the people around him happy," said Andrews.

George Rodrigue's family said funeral arrangements will be announced Monday. The family sent this statement:

"We are heartbroken to share the news that George Rodrigue has passed away after a long battle with cancer. George was our loving husband, father and friend.

George Rodrigue was also a gifted artist who set out to paint Louisiana as he knew it by visually interpreting the landscape and the rich history of the Cajun people. Later in his career his Blue Dog paintings captured hearts and minds around the world.

He was not only a painter, but also a true community leader in his native Louisiana and second home of Carmel, California. George remained an advocate of the arts and arts-education throughout his life and dedicated himself to inspiring the next generation of artists and educators through his foundation, the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.

While we mourn the loss of a great man, we also celebrate his rich life and legacy. George will remain a presence in the hearts of the people who got to know him and his work will continue to inspire for generations to come."

Powered by WorldNow

Fox 8 WVUE-TV
Louisiana Media Company, LLC.
1025 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA 70125

General Number: (504) 486-6161
News Tips: (504) 483-1503
News Room Fax: (504) 483-1543

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVUE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.