Robert Cargo
FOLK ART GALLERY

Self-taught, visionary, and outsider artists of the South
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Royal Robertson  (1936 - 1997)


Except for a few years spent traveling in the west, Royal Robertson lived his entire life in Louisiana .  A former field hand and sign painter, Robertson said that he was “born drawing.”  In 1955, he married Adell Brent and fathered eleven children with her.  When abandoned by Adell after twenty years of marriage, Robertson descended into an uneasy existence, scorned by his neighbors and overcome by misogynistic rage.  Armed with magic markers, paints, colored pencils and ball point pens, Robertson immersed himself in creating a fantasy world depicted on poster board, responding to God’s command that he condemn the evil ways of women.

Each drawing is a window into the tormented world of the self-proclaimed “Prophet” Royal Robertson.  Bible verses and religious references mix with futuristic visionary images in highly eccentric, provocative works chronicling his paranoia and unsettled mental state.   His themes include images of aliens and spaceships, architectural drawings of dream houses and temples in futuristic cities, superhero figures, and portraits of Adelle and other Amazon women.     Robertson embellishes the colorful drawings with rambling, ranting texts, sometimes in cartoon-like balloons, that leave no doubt about the judgment reserved for adulterous whores and unfaithful spouses.

Many of these works include calendars chronicling agonizing memories of his unfaithful wife and their spoiled marriage in brief journal notations scribbled in each date's block.  Robertson's preoccupation with numerology and biblical prophecies of earth's final days as found in the book of Revelation are also evident. 

Robertson created an extraordinary environment within his modest home in Baldwin, Louisiana.  On the exterior, painted signs warned “whores” and “bastards” to stay away.  The interior of his home was densely crowded with his drawings pinned to every available wall.  In August 1992, the home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Andrew.  With the help of two collectors who helped him file papers with the federal government, he recovered from his losses.  In 1997, Royal Robertson died suddenly, just as he was finally reconciling his relationship with two of his children.

     
 

No. 1;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", SOLD

Side A:  Flying Saucer in black cloud – “Bible of Leviticus”

Side B:  Architectural drawing in b/w

     
     
    No. 3;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", SOLD

Side A:  Space buildings, red frame – “I keep on dreaming I went away to a far way land”

Side B:  Calendar (May 1989 AD) – “No good mother fuckers defiled”

     
     
    

 

 

 

 

 

No. 4  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", SOLD

Side A:  Spacescape with building on tall hill, blue frame – “Was Aug 16 – nite 1965 AD”

Side B:  Spaceship with yellow ground and silver sky

     
     
    No. 11;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", $800

Side A:  Full length Adell at night with flowers and fence in freeform border

Side B: Black cartouche - outline of another full length Adelle faintly visible under paint (not shown)

     
     
    No. 16;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28",SOLD

Side A: Spacescape with building and orange tree stumps in cartouche

Side B:  Date list, text in red – “July 4 1980 to 1985 AD”

     
     
       No. 18;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", SOLD

Side A: Space man with beard, red eyes, glitter, in green border

Side B: Text with large black eye – “The eternal-angle”

 

     
     
   Detail side A

Side B

No. 19;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", $800

Side A:  Spacescape with crescent moon; "Patriarchal Prophet Royal Robertson / Libra Realism Arts"

Side B: simple black outline

 

     
     
     

No. 20;  ca. 1988-90
Markers, ink, paint on posterboard,  22" x 28", $1000
SOLD

Side A: “In God driveth a flying saucer”

Side B:  Black ink figure of  angel and soldier.  Very detailed text -- "Go call Dr. Martin Luther King and Mrs. Alberta Crazy"...

     

 

 

 

 


Home | Gallery | Current Show | Purchases | About Us | Contact Us

Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery
Caroline Cargo, Director
110 Darby Road · Paoli, PA  19301
610-240-9528  ·  info@cargofolkart.com
Inquiries welcome.  Open by appointment only.