Artist, preacher, comforter of the afflicted, and afflicter of the comfortable, the Rev. Seymour Perkins has had a tough Fall. In the first week of October, a fire destroyed his house near Hackberry and Nevada. On October 10, after a series of fainting spells, he was diagnosed with cancer. Then on November 1, he sighs, “they arrested me. False arrest. They put me in jail for seven days, and that threw a monkey wrench in all my health care and the scheduling of my chemotherapy.”
He’s nestled in a new abode near Indiana and Pine now, guarded as I interview him by a fierce dog in the yard, a young boy drumming with branches on the roof outside his bedroom window, and his daughter Chris, who gently reminds him of his afternoon doctor’s appointment.
Throughout his autumn trials, Perkins has executed more than 270 personal documents detailing his various grievances, properties, and rights, each of them notarized. Twenty-seven of these reside at San Angel Folk Art with Hank Lee, Perkins’ friend, advocate, and the primary dealer of his visionary art. “I’ll turn Hank Lee loose on this whole world,” Reverend Perkins promises.
Ensconced in his bed next to a space heater, Perkins looks alarmingly thin but feels cheerful. “I’m just walking with the Lord, and He’s giving me revelations. And I will make art from these revelations; I am the black Picasso!” He’s got a lot of plans for the New Year, including the establishment of an Obama-Seymour Bible College, and a whole new series of vision-based paintings, some inspired by the fearsome serpent Leviathan. A fundraiser for Reverend Perkins is also in the works. Stay tuned.