As a tribute to the passing of Chris Finch, my films "Richard Hamilton" and "RB Kitaj", which we worked on together, are available for viewing on Vimeo.
I first met Chris Finch in the sixties in London. I had just made the first in a series of films on contemporary artists, a film on David Hockney, and had been commissioned to make another for the Arts Council. This was to be a film on RB Kitaj and I approached Chris to appear in the film and talk to Kitaj. A year later, I began another project on Richard Hamilton, known as the father of ‘pop art’. Again, I approached Chris and he agreed to participate, even though Hamilton’s first words were: “I don’t like films about artists.” So we began by taking a Nagra recorder and sat down with Richard Hamilton to make a series of interviews that became an integral part of the film.
Chris became a friend, but sadly I lost touch with him when he left England for a teaching job in America. Many years later, after I myself had come to live in Los Angeles, we re-united. His passing is a blow to the art world as well as family and friends. His brand of eclecticism was unique. His humour and talent in so many fields unrivaled. I am streaming the two films, RB Kitaj (1967) and Richard Hamilton (1969) for a week as a tribute to Chris.
- James Scott