Richard Finkelstein works in many media, photography, drawing, painting, model and installation building, and clay and wire sculpture. The work is coming from a background as a trial lawyer, his art like his trial practice has always been about shaping narratives, telling stories, straddling truth and deception. It has also been characterized by a desire to create worlds, as in building realistic miniature dioramas which are then photographed.
Themes of guilt and innocence, shame and secrets, loneliness and voyeurism appear in these pieces, cinematic in their narrative course. While some work is narrative in nature, other pieces explore the range of human emotion in dozens of wire faces (what are actually 3 dimensional line drawings) and miniature clay figurines.
Though his original intent in coming to New York was to become an artist, his interest in social justice took him on an extended detour into the world of public interest law and criminal justice. But in the mid-nineties he left the law to become a full time artist. As with each step in his career there was both a logical and fortuitous segue. He combined an interest in storytelling with a fascination with the very process of “making” and how chance directs so much of the act of creation. It led him through drawing and painting to working with random and found materials, fashioning them into self contained worlds inhabited by small figures which led to photographing these miniature tableaux. The interest in making and stories continues to evolve into different media and forms of presentation.