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The blue dog stares out from the image, one ear up, paws out in front. Is it a menacing or pleading stare? Is this a dangerous pooch or a mournful one? However it's interpreted, the Blue Dog is a compelling image that has appealed to millions and has made its creator, George Rodrigue, an artistic icon. More fascinated with his Blue Dog than Warhol was with his soup cans, Rodrigue has used silk screening to replicate, in a variety of settings both real and imagined, his version of the Cajun loup-garou-the mythological werewolf imported by the French. The dog dominates Rodrigue's career and his catalogue raisonné, which purposely downplays Rodrigue's early folk paintings of bayou scenes. Neither the foreword by Bullard, director of the New Orleans Museum or Art, nor wife and curator Wendy Wolfe Rodrigue's introduction nor the artist's commentaries provide much insight into his dramatic shift of style. Rodrigue writes, "Some are offended by what I've done and especially with the fact that I continue. But that is the creative process." So despite many beautiful illustrations, lavish production qualities and the charm of the Blue Dog, the book offers little insight into an artistic obsession. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.