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Karen Finley

January 01, 2000
Evanston IL USA
5' 6"
120 lbs
To her following she's the Lady of Godiva, Wilhelmina Wonka, the best thing to happen to chocolate since Nestlé added the crunch. But artist Karen Finley's cocoa-loco fame goes back nearly a decade. It was in 1990 that her one-woman performance piece We Keep Our Victims Ready so irked U.S. senator and perpetual party pooper Jesse Helms that he encouraged the National Endowment for the Arts to pull the plug on Finley's funding. Among the rants, chants and poetry, Finley's show had included a segment in which she coated her naked body with chocolate as a symbol of degradation. That's what triggered the Helms attack, setting in motion Finley's decade-long battle with the NEA over the issue of decency -- a fight that she lost last summer, just in time for her new show, Return of the Chocolate-Smeared Woman. As a public service, here is your backstage pass to a Karen Finley frolic, with the king of the politically incorrect, Bill Maher, providing the Hershey's kisses. Cheers.