Finch was born on the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. After
studying painting at Chelsea Art School in London, and a period in Paris, he began to write about the contemporary art scene for magazines
ranging from Art & Artists and Art International to
the British edition of Vogue. He also wrote many catalogue
essays for London galleries and organizations such as the Arts Council
of Great Britain. Recognized for his writings about British Pop
artists such as David Hockney and Richard Hamilton, he later also wrote
about American artists including Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Robert
Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, and Ed Ruscha. This period culminated
in the publication in book form of two collections of essays, Pop
Art: Object & Image, and Image as Language: Aspects of
British Art 1950-1968, as well as a monograph devoted to the paintings
of Patrick Caulfield.
In 1968 Finch became an associate curator at the Walker Art Center
in Minneapolis. From there he moved to New York, and returned
to freelancing, contributing articles to Arts, Art News, Art in
America and other periodicals. Starting in the
mid-seventies, he began a series of books on popular culture that included
the best-sellers The Art of Walt Disney, Rainbow: the Stormy Life
of Judy Garland, and Norman Rockwell's America, followed
by Of Muppets & Men, Jim Henson: the Works, and Special
Effects: the Making of Movie Magic. His passion for both animation and special effects has recently been renewed and updated in The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects, 2013. Later books on Fine Art have included three volumes devoted to the history of watercolor painting, and two studies of the work of the distinguished artist Chuck Close, titled Chuck Close: Work and Chuck Close: Life.
Having given up making art when he became a full-time writer, Finch returned in 1984 to making paintings and graphics. He has had exhibitions at the Anita Friedman Gallery in New York, and at the Louis Stern Gallery in Los Angeles, and his work has been included in group shows at several museums and public galleries. Since 2005 he has turned to digital photography as his primary means of visual expression and in 2013 had an exhibition titled Tall Walls & City Sights at the Harris & Ruble Gallery in Hollywood.
Recently Finch launched a new career as a writer of mysteries. Published in 2013 by Thomas & Mercer, and set in and around the New York art world and counter culture scene in 1968, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the first in a series featuring private eye Alex Novalis. The Girl from Nowhere, next in the series, will be released in 2014.