The Incredible Case of the Stack O'Wheats MurdersKRIMS, Les
Buffalo, New York Self-Published. 1972.
First, limited and only edition. Ten 5 1/2" x 5 1/4" prints on photographic paper and two folded leaves of text (one signed and numbered by the artist). In a 6" x 5 1/2" cardboard box with a laid-on photographic print. Prints and texts - fine. Box is good - one internal corner of the box split and two of the external corners of the box lid split with some bumping and wear to the other corners.
In this work, Krims parodies forensic photography. Each photograph is of a mocked-up crime scene. In each case, a Stack O'Wheats (pancakes) is placed near each victim. Each stack is topped with butter and syrup, the number of pancakes in the stack signifying the number of the crime. Hershey's chocolate syrup was used to simulate blood in the photos, which was formed into words and celestial shapes. Krims originally included 8 ounces of Hershey's syrup in a heat sealed plastic bag with the original print portfolio, as well as "enough pancake mix to make one complete Stack O' Wheats".
In 1980, the copy of The Incredible Case of the Stack O’Wheats Murders held in the UCSC Special Collections was destroyed by a campaigner Nikki Craft who, seeing them as violent pornography, tore up the photographs and poured chocolate syrup over them. In reply Krims said that she had missed the point as his work was, “in part...expressing my revulsion for violent crime”.
“Confrontation with any of Les Krims’ photographs is at best a very difficult yet exquisite proposition”.
For many, though, the most difficult and controversial thing about Krims is that he votes Republican. Which, of course, makes him a true counter-cultural artist.