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Karen Finley
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Performance Artist
    (1956- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Theatrical pieces include 'We Keep Our Victims Ready,' 'The Return of the Chocolate-Smeared Woman,' 'Yams and My Granny's Ass,' 'The American Chestnut,' 'Shut Up and Love Me,' 'Make Love,' 'George and Martha' and 'The Jackie Look'
    Recorded the albums 'The Truth Is Hard to Swallow' (1988) and 'A Certain Level of Denial' (1994)
    Appeared in the film 'Philadelphia' (1993)
    Frequent guest on Politically Incorrect
    Wrote 'Enough Is Enough: Weekly Meditations on Living Dysfunctionally,' 'Living It Up: Humorous Adventures in Hyperdomesticity,' 'Pooh Unplugged' and 'A Different Kind of Intimacy'
    Professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
    One of the 'NEA 4,' performance artists whose grants were cancelled by the National Endowment of the Arts after being condemned for 'indecency' by Senator Jesse Helms (1990)
    She was arrested for portraying 'a mix of red light district prostitute and locked up psychopath' in the window of a defunct JC Penney (1978).
    She complains that media focus on the part of her performances where she strips naked and slathers food (yams, chocolate, honey, etc.) on her body created 'the erroneous impression that my work was sexual in nature.'
    She interrupts her monologues to berate audience members who laugh at the wrong time.
    One interviewer said she was 'as emotionally volatile as a sugared-up child.'
    She said she moved to Los Angeles 'to live in a place that is very, very shallow.'
    She said about performing, 'I could get attention a lot of other ways. Easier ways.... I feel that I have to do it because I don't see many other people who are capable of doing it. I feel that it's my responsibility.'
    She won an Obie Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship for 'The American Chestnut.'
    The dance hit 'Theme from S'Express' sampled her 'Tales of Taboo.'
    'The Village Voice' described her performances as 'a brilliant mix of Brecht and postmodern feminist theory.'
    She was delighted to have both posed in 'Playboy' and received a 'Ms. Magazine' Woman of the Year award.

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 0% Annoying
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