Karen Finley

David

Over 500 posts
Karen Finley has a story here--"An Affair to Remember"--- which also appears in Drinking with Bukowski. She details a relationship with Buk, a trip to St. Barts (!), Richard Brautigan, etc. Just wondering if anyone knows anything about Finley/Buk--can't find any information about it online or in biographies. I'm wondering if she might be "Iris Duarte" in Women, who is "Jane Manhattan" according to Sounes which always sounded to me like a possible pseudonym.

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zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
Never heard of her before, but I googled some interesting activities the said person (or someone with the same name) engages in:

Karen Finlay Channels Dead Celebrities
In recent years she has taken to doing automatic-writing exercises with the spirits of dead celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Mike Kelley, Rodney King, Donna Summer, Amy Winehouse and Charles Bukowski. She seems to channel their deepest thoughts, and then produces watercolors inspired by what she has channeled.
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P.S. Mat Gleason (a member of this forum) is also mentioned in this article, so perhaps he can shed some light on Miss/Mrs Finlay.
 
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d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
karen finley! many years ago a friend of mine lined up to get an autographed copy of her smash hit "yam jam" which i now the proud owner of.

check it out, if you dare...

 

David

Over 500 posts
Well, I was a little suspicious about Bukowski doing crossword puzzles, approving of plastic surgery and considering getting a facelift and being upset about her getting pregnant by Richard Brautigan and also going to St. Barths [sic], all of which seemed a bit out of character...but Ms Finley did fool me a bit, I must admit!
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
check it out, if you dare...
I came, I dared, I yawned.

Finley in the 21st century is about as irrelevant as an artist can be. She was shocking and provocative 30 years ago, but if it wasn't for the NEA "controversy" I doubt any of us would have ever known her name. Which just goes to show you that there is no such thing as bad press, and further proof that any form of governmental interference can only benefit an artist's career (ask NWA).

Which is all well and good, but the thing that doesn't work anymore about Finley is pretty well summed up in that "song" that @d gray posted. Her shtick hasn't changed since the 1980s, but she seems happy to continue screaming about cocks and pussy and assholes, making wall art about cocks and pussy and assholes and pouring whatever all over her boobs.

The fortune telling bit is new, but hardly more relevant. Though Mat sold out those sessions, so everyone got paid, and that may be the highest form of art at the end of the day (ask KISS).

I suppose it really doesn't matter if Finley keeps screaming about cocks and pussy and assholes and pouring whatever all over her boobs for another 30 years. I mean, people still pay to see Gallagher...

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esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
I saw one of Karen's performances at Mat's gallery a year or more ago and I actually liked it. She was channeling dead celebrities through art and spoken word. When she got to Buk, I think she just said "fuck you" over and over, but I am not sure if that was him or Mike Kelley. I might be remembering it wrong because I seem to remember the Mike Kelley one to be more about resentment towards his parents. It's foggy in my mind now, even though I sat in the front row. I remember the whole thing being rather intense. Not that I believed she was channeling the dead. She was just intense, which made for a good performance.
 
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