Look and See

A Black Man Hangs a White Supremacist: Tyler Shields’ Charged Photography

Tyler Shields’s pictures are disturbing and evocative—and never more so when switching the dynamic so starkly between racial persecutor and victim.

Courtesy Tyler Shields

Courtesy Tyler Shields

Tyler Shields, photographer

Tyler Shields is not one to shy away from controversy. Previous works, like setting fire to a $100,000 Birkin bag and giving actress Heather Morris a black eye, have enraged advocate groups while his provocative images of young Hollywood has titillated the masses. But “celebrity photography is dead,” Shields told The Daily Beast, so he’s setting his sights on a highbrow reputation and it begins with tackling America’s race problem. His recent series Historical Fiction, which opens May 16th at Andrew Weiss Gallery in Santa Monica, California, focuses on powerful interpretations—and alterations—of impactful moments in history. “Right now we are going through a real racial issue in our country,” Shields said. “These type of images speak from the 1920s to now,” Shields said. “This could literally be yesterday in Baltimore or Georgia in 1965,” if the black man was the oppressed instead of the white. It could even be the 90s with events surrounding Rodney King. “And there’s just something so powerful about using the American flag as a weapon.” And while he’s sure to have people talking with his new photos, flip through our gallery to see some of his past works.

Courtesy Tyler Shields

Historical Fiction

A white man dressed as a traditional Klu Klux Klan member is hanged by a black man. 

Courtesy Tyler Shields

Historical Fiction

A white cop is pinned down by two black men.


Courtesy Tyler Shields

Historical Fiction

A woman runs as an early-style plane swoops down behind her.

Courtesy Tyler Shields

Linda Lovelace

Lindsay Lohan poses for a shoot inspired by iconic porn star Linda Lovelace.

Courtesy Tyler Shields

$100,000 Birkin

Francesca Eastwood fuels the flames destroying a $100,000 crocodile Birkin bag.

Courtesy Tyler Shields

$100,000 Birkin

Ann Mulvoy-Ten uses a Birkin bag to play tug-of-war with a crocodile.


Courtesy Tyler Shields

Rolls Royce

Shields caught an explosive image as his Rolls Royce burst into flames.