Skip to content
Faculty Directory

Art & Public Policy

Karen Finley

Karen Finley
Arts Professor, Art & Public Policy

Phone: 212-992-8242

Office: 665 Broadway, office 604


MFA, San Francisco Art Institute


Karen Finley is a New York based artist whose raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate.  She has appeared and exhibited internationally her visual art, performances and plays. Her performances have been presented at Lincoln Center, New York City, The Guthrie, Minneapolis, American Repertory Theatre, The ICA in London, Harvard, The Steppenwolf in Chicago, and The Bobino in Paris. Her artworks are in numerous collections and museums including the Pompidou in Paris and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Finley attended the San Francisco Art Institute receiving an MFA and honorary PHD. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim,  2 Obies, 2 Bessies, MS. Magazine Woman Of The Year,   NARAL Person of the Year(which she shared with Anna Quindlen and Walter Cronkite), NYSCA and NEA Fellowships

She has appeared in many independent films and appeared in the film Philadelphia.

She has authored and or edited seven books including Shock Treatment (City Lights 1990), Enough is Enough (Poseidon, Simon and Schuster 1993), Living It Up (Doubleday 1996), Pooh Unplugged (Smart Art Books 1999), A Different Kind Of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley (Thunders Mouth Press 2000),  she edited and contributed to Aroused” A Collection of Erotic Writings (Thunders Mouth Press 2001) and George and Martha (Verso 2006).

Recent Engagements

THE JACKIE LOOK: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis comes back to life in this unique look at history, style, trauma, femininity and the demands of being the First Lady. More information at:

Mizer & Me: Karen Finley in conversation with Bruce Yonemoto examining the image-making of artist Bob Mizer. More information at:

Photo Credit: Timothy Greenfield Sanders