“In this silkscreen, the concept of ‘she’ represents life. Everyday is a new experience. Will it be a bouquet of roses or an alligator whose fierce temperament might change with love and caring into a pleasant, understandable creature? Or, in dealing with the surprises in life, could it be a mad red dog?
“These are everyday challenges faced by every person. Sometimes all we can do is burn some candles and pray to somebody, maybe God, maybe Buddha, maybe my long dead Aunt Bertha, that we get through the day.”
George Rodrigue’s newest silkscreen, Who Will She Be Today?, is a rare style among his prints. Only a handful of his Blue Dog works on paper originate with paintings. Usually, as explained in the post “Silkscreens,” he creates the design on tracing paper or, more often, within his computer, printing an original image unrelated to any oil or acrylic work.
However, this new print breaks that rule. Based on a large original painting, Rodrigue stylized his acrylic colors into shapes conducive to silkscreen ink and patterns.
(pictured, Who Will She Be Today? 2012, 26×35 inches, edition 150; click the picture to enlarge; for info on pricing and availability email firstname.lastname@example.org)
The image includes his signature oak trees, a staple within his artwork since the late 1960s. In a style unique to him, Rodrigue cuts the trees off at the top, so that their branches create interesting shapes within the sky, and so that the light shines from beneath the oaks.
He paints the dogs as he has from the beginning, like people, at eye level, forcing an exchange with the viewer.
I asked Rodrigue about his newest print, Who Will She Be Today?
Because we live in New Orleans, I thought too about costumes, about disguising our true selves, not for protection, but for fun and, frankly, for freedom. Costuming is a daily occurrence in New Orleans somewhere in the city, whether an Easter parade, a birthday party, or just because…
(pictured, George Rodrigue staged this photograph in front of his painting in our living room on the day of the Krewe of Muses parade last month. Read the story here-)
In this city, I’m thinking, perhaps a better title is….
Who Will I Be Today?
-Also this week, I hope you enjoy my latest story for Gambit Weekly, a look back at the King Tut exhibit of 1977. George Rodrigue’s sculpture, pictured below, now sits in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden adjacent to the New Orleans Museum of Art, where the long Tut line snaked years ago. Read the story here–