Tom Raterman Artist and post-modern theologianArtist directory :: Tom Raterman Artist and post-modern theologian
My art is:
1. the process by which I resolve my 'existential unease';
2. the product of that process;
3. a method for others to explore the same topics;
4. an historical record.
When I look retrospectively at my art I find that it has coalesced around the intuitive pull I feel to discover a metaphysical ground, an ultimate reference point from which all meaning is derived...something formerly called 'god'.
Every artist needs an obsession to generate the energy to create and this is mine. It is what stops me in my tracks and causes me to wonder. It is the muse that pulls me on my journey.
The following galleries are a record of that journey-
A Pilgrim's Progress-
An Everyman's path.
| ||My artwork and writing have always reflected my spiritual journey, as I suppose it does for every artist. In most instances the visual artworks express my spiritual state before it can be articulated. I have always saved the theologically didactic or illustrative work for commercial publications and it does not reflect my spirit but what I was asked to produce for sponsors or employers.|
| ||Every society has instinctively created a priest/shaman role for itself. It may reside in one profession or broken up into many, but each society will have 'priests' - experts that mediate between the visible and invisible worlds. Shamans, priests, psychiatrists, social workers, etc.|
| ||These artworks are about the boundary between the controlled or domesticated and the uncontrolled or wild. Human culture is a man-made clearing cut out of the wilderness.|
| ||This gallery is about the entity that inspires my artwork. The entity has many names but is generally known either as the 'Muse' or the 'Spirit'.|
| ||These paintings have an expectancy about them. We are living in a time between epochs - witnessing the end of one and the birth of another.|
| ||Our lives goes through cycles. The cycles can go down or up but move in three phases. The first phase is the existentially uncomfortable phase when a person feels a vague, but strong, need to 'move on'.|
| ||In this dimension of existence we are creatures of time and atoms. In this soup we are born, grow, and disintegrate as corporeal beings. This process is either a fading into nothingness or a launch into a new dimension.|
| ||This gallery contains work that deal with mortality and the aging process. Our culture is youth oriented and tries to hide or reverse the aging process.|
| ||While reviewing my artwork I see that I have subconsciously developed a new theme. The new theme is 'sleep'. Traditionally, sleep has been associated with religious or subconscious explanations but as I grow older I find that it is associated with a type of 'world weariness'.also.|
| ||A collection of artworks that describe existential situations in my life and by extension everyone else's at one time or another |
| ||Love is one of the most complicated experiences we have. It takes many forms and often ambushes us. It is demanding and each experience of it marks us till the end of our days.|
| ||I have been involved in social causes for many decades. My involvements have led to artworks. Most of the artworks in this gallery could be placed in other galleries but are more appropriately placed here.|
| ||This gallery contains reinterpreted traditional religious subjects.|
| ||This gallery is about American consumer culture. Everything has a price and is for sale in this culture. The slickness of the advertising and packaging often over-rides our ability to critically think about the objects that we are deluged with.|
| ||I have generally worked on artworks everyday and have done so for many decades. It usually takes me three to four months before I am done working a piece - sometimes much longer. I save my art for several weeks until I have a quantity that has not been shown.|
| || Landscapes are a subject theme I use to express experiences of mystery and presence. Most viewers will generally spend more time with a landscape than a pure abstract painting.|
| ||The sculptures in this gallery were made from plastic film that I melted paint, foil, objects, and images into. Several of them were hangings that floated in mid-space and measured 25 or 30 feet long by 6 to 8 feet wide - yet weighed only a few pounds which allowed any ambient wind to move them. They were also incorporated into dance and dramatic pieces where they were strobed in darkened rooms.|
| ||The sunset seems to bring out both elegiac and inspirational feeling in people. It is a primal landscape that encourages meditation in our species. I have been incorporating them into my paintings for several years and have recently been photographing them.|
| ||Flowers are powerful creatures that forcefully tunnel out of the earth seeking nourishment, light, and sex to create new offspring. Flowers do this by becoming unbelievably attractive thus luring insects to participate in their sexual act of reproduction. Flowers are savage, purposeful creatures that use their beauty to entice others for their own ends.|
BlogSpiritual artSpiritual art doesn't have meaning. It has mood which when caught invites you to encounter the presence through its portal. The ensuing dialogue between the two of you, one on this side of time and the other no longer bound by it, will do what is needed.
Curators kill the art by reducing it to explanations, biography, narratives and movements. They are the butchers of the art world killing the art so that they can dissect it for the museum's cafeteria.
The spiritual art arises out of an encounter with death
see related galleries especially mortality and elegies, aging, premonitions on my Zhibit site.
Situating my art
Understanding my art
The purpose of 21st Century Theology
the purpose of theology in the 21st century