Joseph Finkleman: Fragile and Passing Patterns

Joseph Finkleman’s Fragile and Passing Patterns of imagery will be featured in the Step Up Gallery at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center during the month of June and the first week of July. Finkleman makes mostly abstract paintings with the brush we know as photography. And because he doesn’t like mucking up his pictures with words, he provides the following explanation:

“There is an obscure story of a famous Sage,” says Finkleman, “who proclaimed for a half century that life was like a fountain. One day a former student of his visited him and asked what he meant by that. He replied, ‘Okay, maybe life isn't like a fountain.’”

“I've always liked that story. I like that we explain by metaphor and if asked to explain the metaphor have the courage to discard it.

“I have read many artist's statements. Visual artists are traditionally asked to provide some words to place in context their images. Yet I have never seen a picture supplied by a writer for the same purpose. Perhaps we could all agree and just supply music to set mood.

“This show, like much of my work, eliminates a great deal if not all context. I find in this work an interesting question. We will look at something and state that 'this' is a picture, and 'that' is not a picture. There is a boundary line, maybe more accurately, a boundary layer there and I try to place the 'this' is a picture as closely as possible to the boundary of 'that' is not a picture, in order to examine why is 'this' a picture and 'that' is not.”

Joseph Finkleman received both of his degrees, a BFA and a MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has taught photography and animation intermittently, both in the public school systems and privately, for the past thirty-five years.

Finkleman started his commercial photography career at age twelve. From his late teens until his early forties, he was a full time commercial photographer. He has been showing art for forty-four years, both in watercolor paintings and photography. Currently he is the Community Outreach Director of the Davis Cemetery and, as such, the Curator for Gallery 1855, one of the most active galleries for photography and other art forms in the Sacramento region.




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