Published: May 3, 2016
NEW ORLEANS, LA. — A one-of-a-kind creation by late Louisiana artist George Rodrigue will hit the auction block on Sunday, May 22, at New Orleans Auction Galleries during the second day of of its two-day auction.
Rodrigue, who is best known for his iconic Blue Dog works, painted the Blue Dog Hog in 1994 using a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle as his canvas, creating a showpiece for an exhibition at New York’s Time is Always Now gallery. Following the showing, the Blue Dog-clad Harley was displayed at the Rodrigue Gallery in New Orleans. The work became a popular attraction and photo opportunity until it was purchased by a Wisconsin collector; it has remained in private hands since.
Rodrigue, who died in 2013, began incorporating motorcycles into his paintings in the late 1980s. “Although not a rider himself, George related to the seduction of the open road and the notion of freedom and Americana attached to motorcycles,” says Rodrigue’s wife, Wendy Rodrigue.
Estimated at $175/250,000, the Blue Dog Hog features six of Rodrigue’s iconic Blue Dogs, as well as two Red Dogs flanking the tank’s center console, and oak trees dripping with Spanish moss along the back fender. It is signed on both sides of the tank. The motorcycle will be offered with a matching helmet that includes two Blue Dogs and Rodrigue’s signature.
According to Wendy Rodrigue, the Red Dog first appeared in 1990 as the Blue Dog’s alter ego, a reference to the loup-garou, a werewolf or ghost dog that first inspired the now-famous image. Although George intended the motorcycle as a work of art as opposed to a means of transportation, he positioned the Red Dogs just below the speedometer, cleverly tempting the rider to fully enjoy the open road.
“As a longtime admirer of George Rodrigue’s works, the Blue Dog Hog is unlike any piece by the venerable artist I have seen,” said Susan D. Sarofim, CEO of New Orleans Auction Galleries. “This impressive and important work is truly exceptional, and this auction holds an unprecedented opportunity for collectors to own one of Rodrigue’s most unique creations.”
Preview will be May 9–20 from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday. A cocktail reception, open to all, will be May 19, 5 to 8, 333 Saint Joseph Street. The auction begins at 10 am on Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22. For more information, www.neworleansauction.com or 504-566-1849.
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