Art 1 – 4/23


Look at the following video on George Rodrigue:

and the website:

pay particular attention to bio and art/gallery

Make comments about:

1. the pros and cons for you about  the visual aspect of his works

2.  the ideas in his works and the interpretation of his paintings (especially the 911 painting)

3. the disconnect between the high market value and the negative reviews by art critics

In your sketchbook, do an hour drawing in the style of Rodrigue, of any animal put in a place to convey meaning


26 responses »

  1. I think the cons of his work is its focus on only the dog and no context, like the background he elliminated. However the pro seems to be the focus itself and the ellimination of the distraction of the background, however, I don’t favor that. I think it is cool that he makes his work mean something very deliberate and not some obscure meaning that the looker might not quickly understand. It’s nice that he makes a stand and can use his art to help people recover from traumatic events like 9/11 or the Katrina Huricane. I think it seems to be the case that art that is reviewed poorly is liked by the mass population. The artist who can identify asthetic tastes of the mob despite the criticisms of people who claim they know better is a great one.

  2. He’s known for his amazingly colored blue dog. I like that his motto is, “No one tells me what to paint or how to paint.” And, “What sells best is what I wanna do.” I love how he moves his dog all around the world! And its really cute how he dresses him up. 🙂 Its sad to say that he used to paint things of a world that began to disappear. But its great that he tries to keep it alive with his paintings! I love the 911 painting. I love the way he has the dog in white as a symbolism of what happened that day. And that he had raised 5,000 dollars for the red cross! I think it’s crazy that art critics have something to criticize. So far, if there’s one painter I’ve got to love its George Rodrigue. When he’s raising thousands of dollars for causes that happen all around the world, because of his blue dog, his art should definitely not be criticized.

  3. I like how George Rodrigue takes his blue dog and places him in different places and landscapes. I think that it would be interesting for him to paint the blue dog in different positions, or from a different angle. George Rodrigue certainly has lots of ideas of different scenes and places to put his dog. I don’t think that the 911 painting of the dog expressed the emotion that he was trying to get across. The eyes should have been white or blue, but the red makes just makes the dog look evil. It is interesting how critics say that they don’t like his art, but in the video he said that he made $500,000 in something like two weeks for the Red Cross from prints of the 911 dog painting. I like the art of George Rodrigue and I think that it is nice that he puts some of the money he makes to good use like charity.

  4. I like the toned down backgrounds, because the dog pops out, but the bright ones are a bit too bright for me, because the dog is lost in the painting, although they are interesting. The paintings comment on popular culture for me. His paintings show that art critics are not always right about what sells. I think the 911 painting was really good, and the red eyes make it look a little dead.

  5. I like the repetition of the dog. The same dog showing up in many different situations with the same expression in each one is appealing. I didn’t really relate to any of the interpretations, though.

  6. I really don’t like his work. At all. It seems unoriginal to me, since all the artwork he makes revolves around the idea of “I need to fit this dog in somewhere”. Even if it doesn’t make sense, he sticks in that blue dog anyway, and makes millions. The paintings don’t have depth or anything interesting at all for me. I guess it’s just a matter of taste. I do like his color choice with the blue dog though. Having the background be dull and the dog be very vibrant definitely puts an emphasis on the dog, which is what he’s going for in his work. The painting about 911 didn’t get across what he wanted it to. He wanted the dog to look sad and lifeless, but it looked sleep deprived and evil. The dog’s eyes should’ve been white, which would make it seem almost ghostlike. I can understand why people buy these paintings. They aren’t “weird” or controversial, so they make a nice centerpiece for a living room wall – you don’t have to think about them much, but they look nice anyway. Critics probably don’t like them because they’re just so literal and have pretty much no meaning behind them.

  7. I guess the part of his work I don’t like are the pictures of the Cajun people. It seemed like there was a lot of white. Just pure white. And I found that to be pretty creepy. If he broke it up with shadows it would be a little better in my opinion because for me, I just saw a blob of white. One thing I did like were the color of the dog, because that bright blue is my favorite color. I honestly didn’t understand the messages of his works. I got what he was doing with the old folk stories but besides that I didn’t pick up on anything. The 911 painting just looked creepy and evil to me. I think that he relies on the dog for his art people are going to view it as less personal art.

  8. So, the oaks are extremely boring for me. I like the original blue dogs a lot, and i don’t mind the later ones either, but i just don’t really like the style… whatever it is. But again i like the original cajun/blue dog combo, i think it works very well. i just think he should have found something new, instead of streeeeeeeeeeeetching out the blue dog idea. Maybe a different interpretation of his cajun country would be cool. Oh and i also liked most of the “hurricanes.”

    I spent a while looking at all the paintings and prints and i don’t really understand what he’s trying to show…i get how the dog was created…there was a myth about a werewolf and he thought his dog fit the picture. But i don’t really understand what he’s trying to show.

    His art is criticized because it’s repetitive and unimaginative. But a lot of people buy it because the blue dog has become this iconic figure that everybody loves, regardless of the context or the quality of the painting.

  9. I think the blue dog is a really interesting art idea. I’m not sure what the significance of it is, or if there is any, but I do like that it’s just different. And this artist shows that you can paint whatever you want, and there are no rules. Also, it doesn’t need to have a common meaning. People can take from it what they want. I like the idea of the dog showing up all over the place throughout time. It’s something familiar in a changing time – and though it doesn’t make that much sense, it sort of does in a way. It’s hard to explain.

    People probably buy the art because of this idea of it being some sort of symbol. I think honestly a lot of it is just people’s personal opinions and feelings that are hard to describe. The art critics don’t like it because it’s not very good art, if you look at it from a traditional viewpoint. Just a cartoony blue dog placed all over the place, out of context. But some people don’t think inside these lines, and to them, it has meaning.

    I think the dog just an observer placed in any setting George Rodrigue decides is important. the 9/11 piece was very different than others, as it was much darker emotionally.

  10. Out of all the artists we have looked at so far, Rodrigo is not one of my favorites. I admire that he said he wanted to paint what he likes but the subject matter is too one dimensional for me. It is almost like I am looking at the exact same picture over and over again. The one painting of his that I did like was the one where the dogs were half way underwater. I liked it because it was different from the rest of his work and I had more to look at than just a blue dog and a 2 color background.

  11. It seems like the only thing that he paints is the same blue dog… He seems similar to some pop musicians who only have one hit. His blue dog painting is good, but he doesn’t have anything else. The main pro for his work is that he is focused on one thing, so there is little distraction from the subject of his work. The main con is that he doesn’t seem to have much else to do besides the blue dog. The 911 painting was interesting, and did put a new spin on the dog. The red eyes were a nice touch. The blue dog is visually appealing, but is artistically fairly simple, which could be part of the reason for the disconnect between critics and buyers.

  12. While the blue dog is creative and has a cool half werewolf half dog look. i agree with what reed said about “the blue dog” being the one hit wonder Rodrigo has used to rocket into fame. However at least he makes the blue dog different in each picture. The main pro is that he has more artwork that he created, that wasn’t just “blue dog”. the biggest con was that he hasn’t done something other than blue dog. It is nice that he has made paintings to help 9/11 and hurricane Katrina survivors.

  13. I really like his use of the blue dog in all of his paintings. It makes it obvious who the artist is when you first look and see a big blue dog. I think that it is great that he uses his art to raise money for charities and help places in bad situations like Katrina. I don’t think that it matters that art critics don’t like his art since he likes it and most people also do.

  14. The fact that he only paints the blue dog now is in a way, restricting, and in another it is able to convey different ideas as the original dog is modified. it is very interesting that he can make ideas from the dog by putting it into costumes and into circumstances, but what it means is very dependent on who is looking at the painting, and it seems that only he can know certainly what it means. ins some ways, the fact that he doesn’t worry about how it will sell might influence how much it is valued at.
    ~Ramsey Kerr~

  15. I really like how all of his work means something to him and that he paints for himself rather than what others want or for money. I think the different backgrounds are cool but some of them are kind of weird. He is really creative which is a good thing. I like how he uses the paintings to reflect his mood and what’s going on such as the blankness of the 9/11 one. I like how he doesn’t care what critics think and I don’t think it matters much. Everyone has a different taste in art and obviously a lot of people like his art. I think it’s awesome how he uses his art to raise money for charities.

  16. Rodriguez’s works remind me of something me and my friend Griffin Curtiss once did in middle school, which was to include the Pillsbury dough boy somewhere in every picture. We did this mainly to annoy the art teacher, and think the blue dog has had the same effect, turning critics away from the ever invasive blue dog. I love the blue dog, and I think it is a great way of social commentary, but it is more pop art than any thing else.

  17. A pro I see for his work is his use of bright and contrasting colors. Cons I see, are a focus on limiting different colors for certain areas. For example, the dog being only blue and the lack of presence in the background. Also, I dislike how the dog is placed in so many images. In addition the lack of critical praise isn’t surprising as in many cases there is a lack of connection between critical praise and the view of the public.

  18. i had a problem with him saying what sells best is what he wants to do. because if you are doing it for the purpose of selling, is it really art? because art comes from your soul, from deep within, and there fore he is making what other people consider art, not nessesarily what comes from him. I’m not sure what i think about market value on things like art, because i’ve seen paintings that i could have drawn and think look horrendous and people value it at 70,000. there is disconect.
    aside from all that, i did like his dog

  19. 1. the pros and cons for you about the visual aspect of his works

    Overall, I really enjoyed the use of putting the blue dog in different paintings, it reminded me, to some degree of the same concept as the underwater statues that one of the previous artists did — simply because while the main subject stays the same, the surroundings change

    2. the ideas in his works and the interpretation of his paintings (especially the 911 painting)

    As far as the 911 painting, I don’t really think he captured the emotion that he was trying to, and given his opinions on “if it sells well”, I’m not entirely sure how sincere of a painting it was

    3. the disconnect between the high market value and the negative reviews by art critics

    While he has been negatively reviewed by critics, his pieces are generally highly valued, he spoke to this saying that, if it sells for a high price, that’s what he wants to do. Overall, I feel that art such as this has a place, but it isn’t necessarily furthering the medium.

  20. Some pro’s of Rodrigue’s is that there is usually only one subject, and also bright, contrasting colors. I found his work visually interesting because of the colors.
    However, I find a con that it can get boring to just look at the same “dog” over and over in all his pieces..because I found myself a little disappointed at the lack different subjects.

    I found interesting that in his bio it said he was influenced by pop and abstract styles and I can see that in some of the paintings. Like, the piece with the dogs and the alligator in some forest. Like obviously it’s not realistic (as a whole), but if you just look individually at the different animals, they are painted realistically.

    I honestly thought the prices were ridiculous, but then again I really don’t spend a lot of money on art. I think though that even though critics negatively viewed his art, shouldn’t hinder him from selling his work, but at such high prices, it’s a little crazy.

  21. I do like the idea of incorporating the blue dog into all of his works. I think it’s something that people focus on and watch him travel to his different places. It’s recognizable and people like that. Unfortunately, some might think that this limits his creativeness and can get boring – but I think that Rodrigue includes enough subtle details to say something interesting with so little.

    The ideas in his works and the interpretation of his paintings (especially the 911 painting)
    I like that Rodrigue has used his icon to raise money for good causes. Taking this part of his Cajun life and using it as maybe a symbol of himself, he can show how he is feeling when experiencing these things.

    I would never pay a lot of money for a painting just because it is “in” at the time. But some people may really connect with his art, which is why he gets bad reviews from critics and high money for his creations.

  22. I was kind of confused by the fact that every single picture shown in the video was of this one dog. I think he need to expand his subject matter. On the pro side that dog becomes very recognizable, and you can do some interesting things with it
    I think it is interesting that he was so excited about this dog, if he continues to find inspiration then I guess he can keep painting it
    as far as art prices, it’s really a supply and demand thing, and right now he’s flooding the market with dog pictures. He’s only digging himself a hole, the demand for dog pictures aren’t really going up, and his supply is a lot more than it needs to be.

  23. Pro’s:
    I think the point of his work had a lot to do with the motif of the dog. As a political statement or commentary, I think this motif works very well. That is the purpose of this art– it isn’t necessarily purely aesthetic. In this way I think he is successful because he made his point.

    I don’t find his paintings very aesthetically appealing, but that’s probably because I don’t really relate to the culture he is from. Other than that, aesthetic appeal is kind of irrelevant.

    I think there is a disconnect between art critics’ opinions and the market value of his works because his work was meant to be cultural and political rather than technically good or well done.

  24. i think the blue dog that he draw in his painting is represent the vary of feeling and he make the blue dog is the main symbol of his art work.

    I like this ideas and it interesting, his painting is focus just blue dog and I think the different backgrounds are cool but some of them are weird but it interested me.

  25. George’s paintings are interesting…but it’s not something that really stands out to me. His work isn’t super amazing to me, mostly because he uses the same dog in each of his pieces and it gets pretty boring after awhile. The idea is cool, but I think the extreme he takes it to is a little over-the-top. If he did something more interesting that just the dog, or did something more it would be more appealing to me.

  26. I actually like the repetition of the blue dog. I think it ties his work together. However, I prefer the dog on the more subdued, realistic, backgrounds, rather than the extremely colorful, abstract ones. It’s less of a shock to the eye, and the dog stands out more. I think it’s great that he uses the blue dog to raise money for causes, but I think that calling it a “comment on life today” might be taking it a bit too far. Maybe the art critics that look down on Rodrigue feel the same way, like he is trying to force his work to be more highbrow. That might contribute to the disconnect between public opinion and art world opinion, because the public is generally attracted to things regardless of their artistic value.

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