Capturing Art: Tyler Sheilds Photography
Tyler Sheilds is a Los Angeles-based contemporary photographer who is commonly referred to as “Hollywood’s Favorite Photographer.” But when he’s not pushing boundaries through captivating photography; he’s directing films or writing.
He’s well-known for photography that plays with themes of consumerism, hyperrealism, violence, and other provocative genres.
In his earlier days, Sheilds had trained and became a professional in-line skater before he began the path of photography. He even went on to compete in the X Games, winning the championship at an early age.
He was able to understand early on the type of dedication that’s required to not only be the best, but also very successful in his career.
The Jacksonville, Florida native now often works with talented-professionals in L.A. and is well-versed in showcasing the “new” Hollywood glamour throughout his various imagery and exhibitions.
His work often shows a distinctive flair. Some would refer to this as ground-breaking, while other critics find his work controversial.
The “bad boy” of photography has never shied away from seemingly controversial ideas as he creates risqué pieces, such as with his work with Lindsay Lohan back in 2010.
This piece, which featured Lohan running “wild” through L.A. was talked about with much criticism for some time. You can read more about his various controversial photos and exhibitions here.
One of Sheilds’ recent exhibitions, Silhouettes, was created during the early days of pandemic lockdown and was debuted in Dallas.
Sheilds was able to create multifaceted silhouetted portraits and find a sense of artistic freedom in his work as the rest of the world was shut down. This exhibition was quite different from his earlier work, which often showed bright imagery and vivid colors.
Tyler Sheilds’ most prolific work
Tyler Sheilds has worked with countless celebrities and models to bring to life ideas that others had once criticized before he’d had a chance to create them. He isn’t afraid to play with fire by creating pieces that push art to the edge of its boundaries.
Sheilds is often said to be the Andy Warhol of his generation and is regularly compared to him. It was the Sotheby’s Gallery that first labeled him as being similar to Andy Warhol. Since then, this comparison has stuck and is often referenced in interviews with the photographer.
His images often depict the notion of gaze, power structures, and iconoclastic tendencies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Shields Many of his ideas were deemed “impossible” by various publications and magazines, but with perseverance and ambition, Sheilds was able to take these ideas and create breathtaking images like those mentioned below.
Now let’s look into some of Sheilds’ more prolific pieces down below:
- Flower Girl: This image, which showcases a model wearing a hat shaped like flower petals while she smokes a cigarette, is part of his Provocateur series. It was created and released in 2021 using a 30-year-old camera to give the illusion that the photo was taken during the mid-late 1900s.
- Mouthful: This image includes 16 other pictures of a woman’s red-lipstick covered mouth with her tongue and lips held in various positions. He released this image in 2012 and it is still talked about today when he is interviewed.
- Rolls Royce Silver Shadow: This photo, which was released in 2014, is one that’s often talked about when Tyler Sheilds is mentioned. This photo shows a white Rolls Royce set ablaze in the desert. This photo became quite popular after Sheilds released it and is still well-known today as one of his more prolific works.
- Gator Birkin Tug Of War I: This image was released in 2012 and shows an alligator with the side of a Birkin bag in its mouth, pulling it from the arms of a model. The second version of this photo (Gator Birkin Tug of War II) also features an alligator pulling the bag from the model again, but this time the model uses a hook to hold onto the bag while posing in a black one-piece bathing suit. The background in both images is that of a white wall, which focuses your attention back on the purse and animal.
Well-known celebrities and professionals Tyler Sheilds has worked with
As “Hollywood’s Favorite Photographer,” Tyler Sheilds has worked with many different A-list stars to bring forth an array of different styles of images and exhibitions. Some of these names include Lindsay Lohan, Emma Roberts, and Heather Morris.
His shoot with Glee star Heather Morris brought an uproar of backlash as the photo depicted her with a bruised eye and was often criticized as making light of domestic abuse and other forms of violence towards women.
Another controversial shoot was done with Kathy Griffin. This shoot showed an image of Griffin holding a “bloody head,” which resembled that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
But Shields doesn’t just work with celebrities through photo shoots, he also directed the film Final Girl, which is an action thriller film starring Abigail Breslin. He’s also worked with other high-profile names like Elon Musk and Bruce Willis.
What we can learn from Tyler Sheilds’ work
As we look at Shields’ creations, we can see that even when the rest of the world is telling you that your ideas aren’t enough or are too much, pushing through and creating art for yourself is the truest path forward.
Had Shields listened to those magazines that tore down his ideas, he wouldn’t have had the success and legacy that he holds today.
Tyler Sheilds has always worked hard to show exactly what he’s capable of creating through not only his imagery, but also his screenplays and films now as well.
His imagination and eye for art lead us on a journey into genres that other artists have avoided. He’s ignored the controversy and criticism to create pieces that are true to himself. These are the same pieces that bring an overwhelming number of visitors to his galleries across the world.
We can all take a page out of Shields’ book and move forward to pursue our goals and keep true to ourselves and with what we create.