Royal Robertson: “Prophet,” Artist, Visionary

Royal Robertson

Stopped by the Royal Robertson exhibition at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie. Very interesting work. Robertson saw himself as a prophet and continually made drawings and paintings centering on visions of the future and the apocalypse among other themes. The Webb Gallery has a nice synopsis of the artist:

“Royal Robertson
b. October 21,1936 d.July 5,1997
We met Royal back in 1990 when some friends took us to meet him in Baldwin, Lousisiana. We immediately took to him and visited him many times up until his death. There will never be anyone like Royal. He was so passionate and caring, even with his day to day struggles of obvious paranoid schizophrenia. Royal had this wonderful poetic way of communicating in the past present & future all at once funneled through his thick Creole dialect. Royal claimed his first vision was at the age of 14, where God appeared to him in a spaceship. This and other space subjects are always found in Royal’s work, along with his interest in comics, science fiction magazines, the bible, and his ongoing struggle with his love for women. Artist-Prophet Royal Robertson had much to share and through his art gave a view into his soul, something people rarely share with the outside.”

Sufjan Stevens’ most recent album, “Age of Adz”, was inspired by Royal and his work. The album departs from his earlier writing style, but holds true to the epic nature of his sound. Definitively one for the electronically inclined ear.

According to the Webb Gallery, Sufjan is teaming up with a film maker and friend to create a documentary about Royal and three other similar underground artists. The documentary is called MAKE. Sufjan is contributing to the film score.

UPDATE: Watch the Make trailer here

Some examples of Robertson’s work can be seen below. More are after the jump.

Royal 2

Royal 3

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Royal 5

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Royal 9

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2 responses to “Royal Robertson: “Prophet,” Artist, Visionary

  1. Pingback: Music from Sufjan Stevens + Self Taught artists = MAKE « surfwaco·

  2. i leard alitt about royal when i saw sufjan in boston last year, i wanted to know more, so i started studying him and his artwork and its truly amazing i just cant get enough of it its so inspiring

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