An active cinematographer whose work encompasses indie features, documentary, commercials, and major streaming productions, Richard is based in New York and also works extensively overseas. His photography on the first seasons of FX’s Cold War spy drama The Americans drew widespread critical acclaim. Likewise his camerawork on the wartime drama Manhattan, set in Los Alamos during the top secret creation of the atom bomb, earned him glowing mentions and two ASC Award Nominations for Best Cinematography. Recent projects include Apple Television’s Sugar starring Colin Farrell, and the WWII epic Masters of the Air, produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg. Additional credits include three seasons of Amazon’s international action hit Jack Ryan, USA Network’s surrealist mystery Falling Water produced by Gale Anne Hurd, the Saint X pilot for Hulu, and another Hulu premiere, Castle Rock for producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, based on Stephen King’s stories set in the eponymous town.
Growing up in Provincetown, Massachusetts; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Water Mill, New York - disparate locations that traced the career of his late father, landscape painter Casimir Rutkowski, Richard absorbed an appreciation of context, diversity, and of character reinforced through the examined details of individual environments. His early ambition was to become an architect.
While attending Harvard College, Richard began making 16mm short films mixing live action, stop animation, and electronic sound composition. One such project was Sunshine Superman, created with the artist Christopher Knowles and screened in festivals and in art gallery exhibition ever since. While working as first assistant to extraordinary cinematographers such as Ed Lachman ASC; Eric Edwards; David Stockton ASC; and the late Freddie Francis BSC, Rutkowski continued lensing short films and indie features for emerging directors. After earning a Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance for Kevin Asher Green's minimalist mini-DV film Homework, Rutkowski shot director Neil Burger’s debut feature, Interview with the Assassin, nominated for Independent Spirit Awards in Best First Feature and Best Cinematography categories.
Working with a legendary mentor, theater maestro Robert Wilson, over 20 years led to Richard filming the artist's initial HD Video Portraits. Meticulously staged, slow-moving images of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt, Steve Buscemi, and Robert Downey Jr. sparked a growing collection that has been exhibited internationally ever since. Over a three year period Rutkowski produced, shot and directed The Space in Back of You in homage to Japanese dancer Suzushi Hanayagi, a mesmerizing, eclectic talent whose approach to stage movement deeply influenced Wilson and other avant-guard luminaries. This film premiered at New York’s Lincoln Center and has screened on Arte Channel, the Baryshnikov Center for Dance, and at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Filming groups of workers and individual laborers in painterly long takes, Richard collaborated with artist Sharon Lockhart on Double Tide, Lunchbreak and Exit, projects since screened at MoMA in New York, LA’s Hammer Museum and other major gallery and museum installations over the last twelve years.
Richard lives and works in New York City with his wife, the artist Betsy Kenyon, and step-daughter Daisy.