Tyler Shields is an American contemporary artist, filmmaker and photographer, once dubbed as “Hollywood’s favourite photographer,” and named one of the “100 Best Things In The World” by GQ. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, and currently based in LA, Shields is best known for his provocative photography that relates to the themes of consumerism, violence, and fantasy. In one of his most iconic series he had set a $100,000 crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin bag on fire.
Tyler’s work derives from a history of directing music videos and working with the legendary skateboarding icon Tony Hawk. His images play with the notions of the gaze, power structures, hyperrealism, and cinematography. He has worked with a number of Hollywood celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Emma Roberts, Aaron Paul, Lydia Hearst, and more.
Rather than accounting himself as a ‘celebrity photographer’, Tyler wants to challenge the modern concepts of what constitutes portrait photography by addressing its structure in a shifting landscape of identities and meanings in contemporary world. His vision is to capture the ‘today’ of the history, a new type of American life, through exploring the fictional nature of the historical and the classic.
“I was starting out professionally and I went to see the owner of a top American fashion magazine. When I said I wanted to take wild, crazy, sexy, violent, provocative images unlike anything anyone had done before in the over-protective world of entertainment, they said to me: ‘That will never happen.’ At that point I realised I wasn’t going to be able to go the traditional route in photography.”
– Tyler Shields
Sotheby’s recently featured Tyler’s Three Witches, 2014 in their ten top photographs to collect under £10,000 for their 19th May 2016 photography auction.
In addition to his photography career, he has also directed a film “Final Girl,” and published two books on photography. He has also recently directed a video of Marilyn Manson, which depicts the singer beheading a blonde man in a dark suit and red power tie who resembles Donald Trump. To watch the full video click here.
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