Visions of Times

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    Photo: Cary Whittier
Marker, ballpoint pen, paint, on poster board
22 x 28 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Unlike his aggressively assertive yard signs, Robertson's “Visions” depict something else entirely. Much more than escapism (or even psychosis), they are painstakingly utopian and contain iconography and hopes closely related to those in the work of other African American vernacular artists. Despite their televisual formats, Robertson’s drawings—primarily his early efforts, before market forces began to encourage the most prurient aspects of his anti-Adell furor—do not appear to have been intended for widespread community broadcast. They instead illustrated his private visions, and often date the referenced vision to an hour, day, and year long past. Superheroine bouncers may have stood sentry outside Robertson’s house, but on those occasions when a vision includes humans, they tend to be much more approachable, like the nubile orphans, Ann and Netia, kneeling before the goldfish pond in Visions of Times.