Tyler Shields was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Known as “Hollywood’s favourite photographer”, the Los Angeles-based contemporary artist has evolved from the “bad boy of photography” with his controversial bloodstained photographic series featuring Lindsay Lohan to a more mature artist whose work explores the collective gaze, power structure. hyperrealism, and cinematographic practice. He has worked with a roster of ranking members of Hollywood such as Emma Roberts, Lindsay Lohan, Aaron Paul, Lydia Hirst, Mischa Barton and more.
In light of our upcoming exhibition ‘Provocateur’ in cooperation with COYA Mayfair, we decided to look back on how a skater kid from Florida became one of the most prolific shock photographers in the world!
1.Shields competed professionally as a vert in-line skater, He participated in the 1999 and 2000 X-Games and toured with legendary skater Tony Hawk in 2003. That same year, Shields began his photographic career by posting photos on MySpace. Whilst packing up an ex-girlfriend’s belongings after a break-up, he borrowed his roommates camera and shot a hanger and two pairs of empty clothes. Then he sold the photo on MySpace, used the money to purchase a camera of his own, and…the rest is history.
Tyler Shields (with his trusted camera!)
2. Tyler Shields dated Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Francesca Eastwood, who starred in a reality TV show “Mrs. Eastwood and Company” on E! She was involved in a vast number of his photoshoots, engaged in extreme and often life-threatening situations. Particularly in ‘Suspense’, Shields’ gravity-defying, stomach-turning series. We can concede that Shields is not afraid of pushing boundaries to get the perfect shot. Shields uses no special effects or stunt doubles as he documents people. Had he relied on wires and harnesses, the resulting shots wouldn’t evoke the same unease and confusion.The artist explains, “I love to push myself and I love to push the people around me. People have gotten some injuries. People have gotten some crazy experiences out of this. Everything that we do is real.”
Take a closer look at what goes on behind-the-scenes…
3.Amongst his photography career, Shields is also a highly talented film director. In 2014, he completed filming his feature length Final Girl starring Oscar nominated Abigail Breslin and Hunger Games’ Wes Bentley. Final Girl is an American action thriller film written by Adam Prince, based on the story by Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, and Johnny Silver. The same year, Shields’ script The Wild Ones was listed in the Black List, being ranked as #6; and published the first in his complicated series of 6 novels Smart Man.
Final Girl directed by Tyler Shields
4.In recent years, Shields’ photography has featured in a number of auctions in London and New York. He was Number 2 in the ’10 Best Photographs to Collect Under $10,000′ by Sotheby’s, in addition to being the youngest artist in both the Sotheby’s and Phillips auction.
Tyler Shields, Three Witches (2014)
5.In 2017, Shields’ second book Provocateur hit Number 1 on Amazon for best Photography books. It sold out in all of Europe in the first week!
Buy your copy on our online shop!