An openly gay performance artist, Fleck was noted for covering the stage and himself in refuse and clutter while making pointed political and social commentary on everything from racial intolerance to sexual discrimination. While he may have been a familiar face from his numerous guest appearances on TV series (from "Hooperman" to "Seinfeld" to "L.A. Law"), the tall, dark-haired Fleck gained national prominence in 1990 as one of artists whose National Endowment of the Arts grant was rescinded on the grounds their work was obscene . He joined with the other three (Tim Miller, Holly Hughes and Karen Finley--who came to be collectively known as the "NEA Four") in a lawsuit filed in September 1990 that challenged the agency's decision and the constitutionality of the language of its policy to fund art that met "general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public." In June 1992, US District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima ruled that the language of the NEA policy was indeed unconstitutional. While the Justice Department appealed Tashima's ruling, the NEA agreed to pay $252,000 to the four artists in an out-of-court settlement in June 1993.