Leslie Krims

1942 -


Les Krims (born 1942) is an American photographer known for his provocative, often controversial, staged photographs. Krims’ work has consistently challenged the boundaries of societal norms, combining humor, political commentary, and occasionally shocking subjects. Here’s a brief biography and overview of his career: Early Life and Education:
  • Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942.
  • He received his BFA from Cooper Union in 1964 and an MFA from Indiana University in 1966.
Career Highlights:
  • Krims is known for creating “staged” or “set-up” photographs, which are elaborately constructed scenes that he meticulously orchestrates and then photographs.
  • One of his most famous and controversial series from the late 1960s is “The Incredible Case of the Stack O’ Wheat Murders,” which is a fictional crime scene investigation using staged crime scene photos.
  • His other well-known series include “Making Chicken Soup” (1972) and “Fictcryptokrimsographs” (1975).
  • Throughout his career, Krims often confronted prevailing standards of taste, decency, and political correctness. He integrated elements of satire, dark humor, and critique in his images.
  • He also experimented with photographic techniques and formats, from Polaroids to hand-colored prints.
  • Due to the provocative nature of his work, Krims has been a polarizing figure in the world of art and photography. Some critics and viewers have found his photographs to be in poor taste or offensive, while others appreciate them as audacious social commentaries.
  • His work has ignited debates about censorship, freedom of expression, and the role of art in society.
Later Life and Legacy:
  • In addition to his photography, Krims has had a long career as an educator. He was a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • His work has been exhibited widely and is held in numerous major collections, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the controversies surrounding his work, Les Krims has left an indelible mark on the landscape of American photography. His dedication to pushing boundaries has made him a significant figure in the history of conceptual and staged photography.
Anne-French Fine Arts
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