Prophet Royal Robertson

United States of America, 1930 - 1997

Prophet Royal Robertson spent most of his life in Louisiana. As a teenager, he left to travel along the West Coast, but returned after a few years to take care of his elderly mother. In 1955 he married, but his wife left him and took their children to live in Texas. Devastated, Robertson began to decorate the inside and outside of his house with drawings denouncing his wife’s betrayal. Over the next decade, this obsession became a mental disorder. Referencing sources as disparate as the Bible, science fiction magazines, pornography, and cheap tabloid newspapers, his work manages to graphically illustrate the daily concerns that occupied his mind, both real and imagined. His paintings, crafted from markers, ballpoint pens and tempera paint, feature images of aliens, futuristic modes of travel, strange architectural temples and rants about his wife, Adell. His works are often double sided, bearing a drawing on one side and a detailed calendar with various tasks, thoughts and proclamations on the other. Featured in countless international collections, such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (USA), his work was presented in 2018-19 in the travelling exhibition Into The Unknown, produced by the Barbican (London).

Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum /christian berst art brut