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From studying at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to challenging the Attorney General before the United States Supreme Court. Additional biographical details as articulated by the person who lived them.

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His art is not subtle. It can be hard to take. But Clinton Fein is not afraid to make a statement.

He has been sued, or threatened with legal action, by the New York Times, the Gap, Ziff Davis and numerous other businesses and individuals whose images, logos or advertising content he has used.

By Kenneth Baker, The San Francisco Chronicle

Clinton Fein and the Art of Political Protest

As a Web-based artist, Fein produces outrageous graphics that make an instant statement. The artist's deft understanding of his political content and high-impact images are communicated and disseminated globally, taking on an afterlife of their own. His campaign of Shock and Awe is unrelenting as he pairs his message with a meticulous attention to detail. While many slap-dash images circulate on the Internet, Fein makes every pixel count.

By Deborah Phillips

Fein seized upon despicable amateur images, which unexpectedly had acquired public notoriety and probative value, and re-presented them in enhanced, painterly terms. His invocation of old-master painting, far from summoning up Christian martyrdom as do the Abu Ghraib canvases of Fernando Botero, delivers us to the dark threshold of inhumanity conjured by Goya.
Marcia E. Vetrocq , Art in America Magazine.




South African born in Johannesburg, 1964. Currently resides in San Francisco, California





2010       Full Disclosure, January - February, 2010, Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California (Solo)


                Banned and Recovered, January 2010 – January 2013, California Exhibition Resources Alliance, USA (Group exhibition)






2008       Clinton Fein at Southern Oregon University, 04/17/08 – 05/31/08, Thorndike Gallery, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon


2007       Torture, 01/04/07 – 01/30/07, Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California


2005       Uncovered, 02/12/05 – 03/13/05, Upfront Gallery, Ventura, California


2004       Numb & Number, 10/07/04 - 11/13/04, Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California


WARNING!, 08/31/04 – 10/02/04, Axis Gallery, New York, New York


2003       Criminal Vol. 2, 10/18/03 – 12/31/03, African American Library and Museum at Oakland, Oakland, California






2009       The Other Mainstream II, 09/27/08 – 01/04/09, Selections from the Collection of Mikke and Stanley Weithorn, The Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona


2008       Banned and Recovered, curated-Hanna Regev, 09/05/08 – 12/30/08, African American Library and Museum at Oakland, Oakland, California


NOISE, 10/15/08 – 11/04/08, Anton Gallery, Monterey, California


Face It - Torture in the 21st Century, 10/19/08 and 10/20/08, Highways, Santa Monica, California


Peace Billboards: Artists Collaborate with the United Nations, 05/26/08 – 06/22/08, San Francisco, California


Bridge Berlin, International Art Fair, 10/30/08 – 11/02/08, w/ Toomey Tourell, Berlin, Germany


2007       Beijing International Art Exposition, Torture, 09/20/07 – 09/23/07, w Michael Petronko Gallery, Beijing China


                Bridge London, Special Project Invitation, Torture, 10/11/07 - 10/14/07, London, United Kingdom


                Flow Art Fair, Miami, 12/05/07 – 12/09/07, w/ Toomey Tourell Gallery, Miami, Florida


                Bridge Chicago, 04/26/07 - 04/30/07, w/ Toomey Tourell Gallery, Chicago, Illinois


2006       Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement, curated-Peter Selz, 04/19/06 – 07/30/06, American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC


2005       Joto, 06/22/05 – 07/22/05, Amaru Gallery, San Francisco, California


Imprints, 02/08/05 – 04/02/05, Axis Gallery, New York, New York


San Francisco International Art Expo, 01/05/ - 01/17/05, w/ Toomey Tourell, Fort Mason, San Francisco, California


2004       Fear Will Not Silence Us!!!! Anti-Militarist Art Show! 06/26/04, Not in Our Name, French Fry Factory, Oakland, California


                Scope Los Angeles, 05/17/04 – 05/21/04, w Toomey Tourell, Los Angeles, California


Scope New York, 03/12/04 – 03/15/04, w Toomey Tourell, New York, New York


Academy of Friends and Visual Aid Art Auction, 02/12/04, w/ Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California


2003       BIG, 11/15/03 – 12/01/03, w/ Toomey Tourell,  San Francisco, California


Scope Miami, 12/04/03 – 12/07/03, w/ Toomey Tourell, Miami, Florida


Big Deal X, Visual Aid 10th Annual Art Sale/Fundraiser, 111/15/03, w/ Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California


2002       ICON 2002, 10/04/02, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California


Big Deal, Visual Aid 9th Annual Art Sale/Fundraiser, 111/15/03, w/ Toomey Tourell, San Francisco, California






2006       Zoe Trodd, American Protest Literature, Harvard University Press, 2006


Peter Selz, Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond, University of California Press, 2006






2008       Marcia E. Vetrocq, “Rules of Engagement” Art in America, June/July, 2008

                Maureen Davidson, “A Call to Arms” Metro Santa Cruz Weekly, October 8, 2008

Heather Tirado Gilligan,  “Billboards bring peace message to city streets” Bay Area Reporter, May 29, 2008

Heather Ishimaru, “San Francisco billboard display peace messages” (video)  ABC News, May 27, 2008

Ariel Soto, “Wheatpaste for peace: SF Peace Billboards Project launches” San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 26, 2008

Michael Leaverton, “Buy Into It” SF Weekly, May 20, 2008

Janine Kahn, “Night + Day: Calendar Picks” SF Weekly, May 26, 2008



2007       Peter Selz, “Clinton Fein at Toomey Tourell” Art in America, December, 2007

                Peter Beaumont ,Iraq inspires surge of protest art, The Observer, September 9, 2007

Clinton Fein: Torture,, January, 2007

Steven Winn, “WWII fades into distant past, and with it, our sense of patriotism” San Francisco Chronicle, September 22, 2007

Janine Zeitlin, “Art Basel - Bridge Art Fair Opening” Miami New Times, December 7, 2007

Helen Stoilas and James Knox, Bridge, The Art Newspaper, October 12, 2007

Kenneth Baker, “Botero's distinctive style evokes moral energy”San Francisco Chronicle, January 29, 2007

                Kenneth Baker, “The Horror of Torture, Reinterpreted through Art” San Francisco Chronicle

January 20, 2007

Michael Leaverton, “Precision Strike” SF Weekly, January 17, 2007

Reyhan Harmanci, “The Bigger Picture: 'Torture': Photographer restages infamous images from Abu Ghraib” San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2007

Andrew Sullivan, “Looking at Torture” Time Magazine, January 2, 2007



2006       Capital Roundup, artnet Magazine, May 22, 2006



2005       Art Beat, SF Weekly, June 29, 2005

Holland Cotter,  “'Imprints: Works on Paper'” The New York Times, March 25, 2005

Paul Benevidez,  “Clinton Fein Comes To Town” The Ojai and Ventura VOICE, February 11, 2005

Josef Woodard, “Provocation via the Political” The Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2005

Esther Easly,  “Clinton Fein at Upfront Gallery” Coagula Art Journal, March, 2005

Molly Freedenberg, “Everything's Fein” Ventura County Reporter, February 12, 2005

Clark Buckner, “Numb and Number: Clinton Fein at Toomey Tourell Gallery” Artweek, February, 2005

Molouk Y. Ba-Isa, “Corporate Policy Leads to Political Censorship” Arab News, January 11, 2005



2004       Kenneth Baker, “2 of Clinton Fein's political works run afoul of his printer's policies” San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 2004.

Ken Johnson, “Clinton Fein, ‘Warning’ at Axis” The New York Times, September 17, 2004

Kresta Tyler Johnson, “Artist and advocate Clinton Fein has his controversial images destroyed prior to exhibition” Artthrob, October, 2004

Kenneth Baker,  “His art is not subtle. It can be hard to take. But Clinton Fein is not afraid to make a statement” San Francisco Chronicle, November 2, 2004

Jack Fischer, “Using the Canvas to Canvass” The San Jose Mercury News, October 31, 2004

Steve Winn, “As Nov. 2 nears, artists get in their last licks, sending up Bush and company on center stage” San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2004

Louise Roug, “Political artist loses printer over images”The Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2004

“The Clinton Cabinet “ Surface Magazine. October 2004

Jack Fischer, “Print shop refuses to release political images” The San Jose Mercury News, October 6, 2004

Paul Festa, “ Webmaster says war art censored” C|NET, October 6, 2004


2002       Kenneth Baker,Contemporary art gets no more incendiary” San Francisco Chronicle, January, 26, 2002               

                Tanya Pampalone, SF’s true to its name” San Francisco Examiner, February2, 2002


2001       David W. Quinto, Law of Internet Disputes, Aspen Publishers Online, Published 2001


2000       Jon Rhine & Todd Stein, Ungagged CEO of sinks teeth into critics, San Francisco Business Times, September 15, 2000


1999       Joan Biskupic, “Court Upholds Ban on Obscene E-Mai”  Washington Post, April 20, 1999

                Pamela Mendels, “Court Rejects Challenge to Internet Speech Law” The New York Times, April 19, 1999

Malcolm Maclachlan, “ Downplays Supreme Court Defeat” TechWeb, April 19, 1999

William Bennett Turner, “A Supreme Indecency”, April 28, 1999

“Security, Speech Rights Clash Online”, April 20, 1999

Matt Beer, “Obscene e-mail not protected free speech” San Francisco Examiner, April 19, 1999

“U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Computer Indecency Law” Los Angeles Times, April 19, 1999


1998       Pamela Mendels, “ Can Be Indecent, but not Obscene” The New York Times, September 25, 1998

Elinor Mills, U.S. court protects 'annoying' online speech, CNN, September 29, 1998

Michelle Goldberg, “The Importance of Being Annoying” Metropolitan Magazine, January 1988

David Hudson, Federal court rules that may continue to annoy, First Amendment Center, September 25, 1998

Apollomedia Corp. v. Reno, Netlitigation, 1998

Courtney Macavinta, free to bother Netizens, C|Net, September 24, 1998


1997       Jonathan Gregg, “Dispatches” Time, October 20, 1997

Dan Goodin, “ CDA challenge heard” CNET News, October 20, 1997

Ray Delgado, Web site owner sues to limit 'decency' law, San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 1997

“Suit Challenges Ban on 'Annoying' Language” The New York Times, October 22, 1997

Pamela Mendels, Asserting a Constitutional Right to Annoy, The New York Times, January 31, 1997


1995       Stewart Wolpin, “Evolutionary” Rolling Stone Magazine, April 1995

                Jon Katz, “Conduct Unbecoming” Wired Magazine, March 1995

Carol Ness, CD-ROM with gay sailors released, San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 1995

“Navy OKs Illustration of Gay Midshipman” Albany Times Union, March 9, 1995

John Gilles, “Conduct Unbecoming” Marin Independent Journal, March 9, 1995





                Symposium (developed and presented)

Freedom of Expression During Times of War

University of California at Berkeley Extension


Panel: Interface between art and vandalism

University of San Francisco


Lecture: Presenting challenging material

Department of Museum Studies, John F. Kennedy University


Lecture: Open Access and Small Business

San Francisco Small Business Network


Lecture: The New Role of Electronic Media

School of Journalism, University of Oregon





2001       Nominee, PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award in 2001


1998       Nominee, Webby Award in the category Politics+Law,


1995       Winner, Critics Choice Award, USA Today and San Francisco Review of Books, Conduct Unbecoming CD-ROM





2001 – Present   First Amendment Project  - President of the Board




1992 – 1993         University of California, Los Angeles Screenwriting, Acting, Directing


1983 – 1987         University of the Witwatersrand,  Bachelor of Arts, Industrial Psychology