Tyler Shields Photography
Buy Tyler Shields Photography
Tyler Shields is a photographer, film director, and writer, best known for his unique, controversial, shock evoking captures of Hollywood celebrities. In addition to his Fine Art photographs, he has shot campaigns for brands like Nike, Adidas, Playboy, Harley Davidson, and Gergé Swiss watches, among others. In 2014, the publishing of Tyler Shields book, including Smartest Man and The Dirty Side of Glamour, the completion of his first feature-length film, Final Girl, became huge successes.
Shields was born in Jacksonville, Florida where he grew up to become a professional inline skater, he competed in the X Games in ’99 and 2000, even touring with Tony Hawk in 2003. However, this athlete wanted to do more so at 18, he moved to LA.
Always having an interest in photography he began uploading images and videos. “I took a picture of a closet that became really famous on the internet back in the days when MySpace first started. A girlfriend cheated on me, so I took all her shit and I threw it out.” says Shields. An unknown advertising agency saw this picture, bought it off him and even commissioned him to shoot an ad campaign. Being in Hollywood and understanding the power of social media, not only were people buying his photos but asking to have theirs taken.”..then the people who I was shooting weren’t famous but became famous. And famous people started wanting to shoot.” His photographer Las Angeles captures include some of the most over-the-top, brutal aspects of contemporary celebrity culture.
As we step into the disturbing world of Shields, we find his images with no other purpose other than to shock. In 2010 the star, Lindsey Lohan tweeted Tyler requesting to shoot, Tyler tended to the request. The result was blood splattered and seductive with a femme-fatale vampire Lindsey who held a butchers knife to her own throat and even portraits brandishing a gun. Along with these violent scenes, Shields collected blood from 20 celebrities to make a piece of art for his Life Is Not a Fairytale exhibit in Los Angeles. Shields also appeared to stage the “shooting” a party-goer with a gun that year at the release party for his book Collisions, as an appropriated piece of performance art en homage to the cans of Fluxus artist Piero Manzoni. More controversy arose in 2012 when Shields released a photograph of his girlfriend Francesca Eastwood burning, sawing, and biting a $100,000 Hermès Birkin Bag for a photoshoot. His controversial and violent images, and frequently drawing criticism from animal rights activists and women’s groups.
Another Jaw-dropping success is Tyler Shields prints, Suspense, defying gravity with every capture, bringing a thrilling rush of adrenaline. These images will want to make your stomach turn as some images include stars like, Francesca Eastwood, Emma Roberts and Lydia Hearst frozen at the height of the action, voluntarily jumping off of buildings and bridges, their bodies like rag-dolls suspended in the air. “Suspense is not about death; it’s about life,” explains Shields. “Some people definitely look at these pictures, and they see the people as if they’re about to die. I see the people as if they’re about to live.”
However, this “bad boy” does have a good side to his work such as his other hit series, Chromatics and newest Collection of Summer 2015, which will leave you both inspired and exhilarated. “I was once on a plane that nearly crashed. The two people next to me had been flirting the whole flight and the moment we thought we were going to go down, they started kissing each other.” Also, “I love hitting people in the face.” says Shields. Chromatics involves this inspiration of “beauty in Chaos” with freeze-frames of surreal, technicolour violence that included 360kg of colored powder. Although this was a shift from his common works, aggression was the common factor. “I lined 20 people up against each other and was like, ‘This guy said you’re a f***ing bitch,’ and let them go crazy. All hell ensued.” Shields, 30, who is based in LA, weaved through the carnage like a combat photographer.
Shields’ talent goes beyond shock schlock. He has a great eye, a uniquely sinister way of tweaking the Hollywood mystique and a gift for getting his subjects to push personal boundaries. The mystery behind his relationships and habits captivate the media, not unlike the art world’s best-known friend of the famous, Andy Warhol.