© Royal Robertson/Photos, Rollin Riggs and Mike Smith

Signs of end-times. “No Divorce Whore’s [sic] Allowed” reads one of the many signs propped against folk artist Royal Robertson’s home, shown after Hurricane Andrew tore through his native Louisiana in 1993. The only thing definitely known about the self-proclaimed “Libra Prophet Royal” Robertson, shown with Bible in hand, is that he was married to a woman named Adell Brent who left him after two decades of marriage. Apparently once a field worker and a sign painter, Robertson turned his home and yard into an anti-Paradise full of signs announcing the end of the world and the doom of unfaithful women, especially Brent. Few, if any, of the Bible’s references to unfaithful women, which he refers to in a kind of artisitic shorthand, are omitted from his oeuvre. His bitterness at what he saw as Brent’s betrayal informs all his work and perhaps caused his ultimate descent into paranoia and madness. He was in his 60s when he died at home this past July.