Paintings by Samu Raatikainen are like cross sections in time. They explore his perceptions of the changing natural world and capture a moment that will never occur again.
The processes of renewal and innovation are inherent in the work of Raatikainen. He is fascinated with expanding the language of painting and the risks therein, finding great significance in experimenting with new techniques and materials.
Raatikainen's paintings share a common theme of nature and its transitional states. He is intrigued by the continuous shifting in nature; how the changes in season and light alter our perceptions of the natural world.
The artist’s methods include technique of painting separate acrylic sheets, which are then transplanted onto the canvas to form a kind of collage. This gives the finished painting a unique threaded and fragile quality that would be impossible to achieve using any other method. The many stages of this process are guided by intuition, use the possibilities of chance, and refer to nature’s organic language.
The variation in the reflective quality across the painting’s surface created by different materials links these paintings to their environment at any given moment. ”The idea was to create a range of paintings that could replicate the experience of a natural space…the materials to come alive in all their qualities of texture, reflection and illumination,” Raatikainen explains.
Raatikainen balances his work on the interaction between planned methodologies and the spontaneity of intuitive creation. He is inspired by ideas of absolute control and conversely its absence. His paintings depict irrevocable disintegration, transformation and certain renewal.
Raatikainen does not necessarily place a high priority on thematic recognition. His paintings, like memories, bring patterns of places to the surface as they are called for. The end result lives beyond the artist’s imagination and becomes a place where the internal and external worlds intermix.
Samu Raatikainen (born 1971) lives in Turku, Finland. In 2019 he was awarded an Artist Grant for five years by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. In 2009 he was one of the recipients of the Finnish Art Society’s William Thuring Award and in 2003 he was granted the title of Young Artist of the Year, Finland.
Raatikainen lived over a decade in the United Kingdom and graduated as a Master of Arts at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, London in 1997. He was previously enrolled at the Free Art School in Helsinki.