Cliff Finity was born in 1954 a couple of miles from John Muir’s grave, in the lap of Mount Diablo, roughly 20 miles from San Francisco, California. In his youth he roamed the California foothills, camping out for long periods while immersing himself in the natural surroundings of nearby woods and beaches, and he continued to take extended backpacking trips into the American wilderness well into his adult life.
He also explored the galleries and museums of San Francisco, studying the lithographs of M.C. Escher and works of the High Renaissance and Surrealist painters, and by the age of 18 he was stretching his own canvas and painting in oils. His first one man show was in 1972 at the Vesuvio Bar, adjacent to City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.
He is self-taught in classical academic painting techniques, using oil on Belgian linen canvas or museum quality panels. He has traveled to Italy to view the works of the Italian Renaissance masters first hand, and to Spain to visit the home of Salvador Dali and the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres.
In addition to Dali, he has also closely studied the work of painters such as DeChirico, Magritte, Delvaux, Sage, Ernst, Tanning and Varo, pioneers in Veristic Surrealism, a branch of surrealism committed to a high degree of technical mastery. His oil paintings follow in that tradition of flat glossy surfaces depicting subconscious images of nature and technology as expressed through mythology, language, games, dreams, and the passage of time.
Finity’s style is commonly described as “Surrealistic”, although this kind of imaginary representational painting predates written history. His depictions of anthropogenic technology interwoven with elements of the wild reflect his lifelong passion for wilderness and observations of the natural world, giving rise to images that express the way in which humanity’s development mirrors and is informed by nature’s evolutionary experimentation. Witnessing the temporal flow of technology in his lifetime amidst the comforting matrix of the wild, he seeks to symbolize in his paintings the common endeavor of life.
His work has been shown through-out California, Washington, and Arizona; and is represented in collections around the world, from New York City to Florence, Italy. He is currently represented by the Sedona Arts Center in Sedona, Arizona, where his paintings can be viewed in the Fine Art Gallery.