Title: The Deerslayers

Photographer: Leslie Krims
Author: Tony Curtis
Publisher: Cwm Nedd Press
Designer: Not listed


Image Title: from 'The Deerslayers' 1972
Photo Genre: Documentary/Conceptual
Book Genre: Poetry

I could say that this was the first book to enter the 'Covering Photography' collection, but the fact is that I bought it years before I had the idea to catalog book covers. It caught my eye because on the cover were four photos from Les Krims' Deerslayers portfolio; about as unlikely a group of pictures as I'd ever expect to find on book, even a book of poetry published by a small press.

Krims, though still alive and presumably well, has practically faded into obscurity in today's art and photgraphy world, making crucial the need to acknowledge how strong his influence was on many photographers who came of age in the late 1960's and early 1970's. One might reasonably credit Krims and Duane Michals for practically inventing (or, at the very least, updating) the 'Directorial Mode' of set-up and conceptually based photography which flourished in the '80's and continues today (Krims taught photography at Buffalo College, and was quite well-known in western New York State art circles). It's difficult for me to imagine that his set-up 'photo fictions' were not a seminal influence at the time on a young art major at SUNY Buffalo named Cindy Sherman, though to my knowledge she has not acknowledged this publicly. KB

"The Deerslayers," by Tony Curtis.

Cheers to KB.

I am alive, well, teaching at Buffalo State College, and appreciate your kind words.

I've had a website for the last couple of years, which you might enjoy. The address is: leskrims.com.

I had never heard of Tony Curtis's book of poetry, but would certainly be interested in reading it.

You also might be interested to know that my pictures sell quite well these days—certainly for as much or more than numerous younger artists who have wittingly or unwittingly been influenced by it (Ms. Sherman's monetary success is in a well-deserved league of its own).

I'd suggest that an investigation of why my work was marginalized in this country would offer someone a doctoral thesis and a book a movie-maker might option.

Best regards,

Les Krims

Les Krims on MV

Since 1994 I have from time to time, run across Les on the streets and beaches of Martha's Vineyard. He is always with a camera, either in hand or mounted on a tripod. It is a treat to hang and talk, Les is a wonderful person and accessible. In contrast to the bad boy set-up narratives he has compiled throughout the years, he comes of rather humble. Like many other artists, I became familiar to his work in the late 70s and 80s and have never stopped being a fan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Krims states:
"In 1971, a young boy was kidnapped in Memphis, Tennessee. The ransom requested for his return was the removal of Les Krims's photographs then on exhibition in Memphis. Krims' pictures were removed and the boy was released unharmed. A few years later, Light Gallery, in New York City, published an original print portfolio containing the Krims photographs on view at that exhibition. Light Gallery titled the portfolio, "The Only Photographs in the World to Ever Cause a Kidnapping." Krims had nothing to do with the kidnapping."

Who else in the art world deserves such a unique prestige?

Stephen DiRado

Les Krims

Having been a collector of your bookworks so many years ago, and a reviewer of them soon after--it's good to hear you're imparting some of your keen information to younger people.
You were ahead of your time--perhaps that's why you never got the recognition you deserved--but those of us who "knew" know now that we are right--you were right there with the best of them.\

Judith A. Hoffberg