Tuesday, August 5, 2008

George Rodrigue

I found this image in ArtVoices, a magazine I picked up at White Linen Night. It interests me because it is about language. Apparently, in 1921 a new law stated that French was to be no longer tolerated in Louisiana public schools. For this reason I have met many people who have French-speaking grandparents, parents who only understand French, but they themselves don't speak it at all. To me, this seems a shame. This painting illustrates what happened to those students who spoke French- much like what happened to my grandfather when they found out he was left-handed. They tied his left hand behind his back!

The text in the blue box is not part of the painting but it is interesting too. George Rodrigue, the Cajun painter, is best known for his "blue dog" pieces. But, as he explains in an interview, the blue dog is not just that. The canine seems to have grown out of the Loup-Garou legend. When you think of the blue dog not as a benign pet, he certainly takes on a new meaning. The dog is dipicted in all types of scenes; by flowers, on the street, at tables. Sometimes he doesn't even seem to belong in the scene at all. You can take him as a pet. Or you could think of him as a werewolf ghost, always waiting in the wings of daily life.

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