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.