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Hi. My name is Jonathan Edward Raddatz, but I sign my paintings using my initials because they are shorter, easier to remember, and combined they make a nice logo. You can go ahead and call me Jonathan.
So, now that we’re all operating on a first name basis, let me fill in this conversation with other pleasant fodder as we make our way to the big punch bowl in the back of our minds.
My artistic interests have pushed me to pursue two types of art: I have one foot planted in the abstract expressionist movement characterized by the the art of the likes Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Town, Ronald, Cahén, Meade, Yarwood, Riopelle… But like many Canadian painters, the other foot still likes to explore the Canadian landscape the way J.E.H MacDonald, A.Y Jackson, Lauren Harris and other painters from the Group of Seven and their precursor, the unrivaled Tom Thompson did. What, can I say? The Group of Seven have had a huge impact on our national identity as Canadians. It’s hard to escape their influence when it comes to eying the natural landscape.
For me, painting acts as a perfect counterpoint to my rather rigorous academic research in the field of the philosophy of religions. My paintings are the supra-rational antithesis of rational communication. In other words, for me, painting is the visceral departure point for exploring the numinous corridor of what animates my faith and spirituality. My lofty goal can be summarized thusly:
I see my paintings as trans-dimensional portals that allow the viewer to transcend space/time as we normally experience these things. They point to a larger ontological reality that both elevates and humbles you. My goal is nothing nothing more nor less than a theological assessment of the human condition. It is a brutal, yet poignant testimony of our times in the shadow of eternity.
Aside from painting, I am a dedicated family man. I value spending quality time with my wife and two boys. I also like cats, dogs, gardening and house cleaning. I share my time between painting in the studio, translating the Bible and other academic pursuits, and trying to be a good dad/husband.