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Tom Raterman Artist and post-modern theologian

Artist directory :: Tom Raterman Artist and post-modern theologian

Emerging from difficult times

Overcoming the troubles

Recently created art

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.


Thomas Anthony Raterman,B.A.,M.A.,M.F.A.,(M.Div.) 
Artist's Statement 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.


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Tom Raterman
1412 Adjala 8 cr
Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0


Spiritual Journey Chronology 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.
Priest, prophet,shaman,artist,poet, musician  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.
Portals 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.
The Muse 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'.
Premonitions  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.
Resurrections 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'.
Disintegration 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.
Mortality and Elegies 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.
Sleep 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.
Existential States A collection of artworks that describe existential situations in my life and by extension everyone else's at one time or another
Love and sex 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.
Social Concerns 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.
Religion This gallery contains reinterpreted traditional religious subjects.
American Suite 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.
cartoons 25 items
Landscapes  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.
Plastic Sculpture 1969 -1971 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.
Sunsets 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 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.
Our Environmental Niche We all agree that our natural world is changing but we differ on the reasons why. Most of us recognize the magnitude of these changes and their potential to destroy the ability of large portions of our species to sustain their current lifestyles - which is already happening.


uses of mystery

distraction of being

Spiritual art
Spiritual 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.

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