Exploring the Provocative Artistry and Controversy in Tyler Shields’ Photography
Tyler Shields, an American photographer, director, screenwriter, and former professional inline skater, was born on April 29, 1982. He is recognized for his controversial and daring photography often involving violence.
His work sparked significant controversy in June 2017 when he photographed comedian Kathy Griffin holding a prop resembling Donald Trump’s severed head.
Shields was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. His career in sports saw him professionally compete in vert inline skating, including participation in the X Games in 1999 and 2000, and a tour with Tony Hawk in 2003.
His journey into photography was greatly influenced by Fraser Kee Scott from A Gallery. Shields credited Scott for discovering him during the era of MySpace. His work caught the public eye in 2009 after a photoshoot with the cast of The Vampire Diaries resulted in the arrest and charges of disorderly conduct for some members of the group.
Shields’ photography has been featured in numerous exhibitions. His 2016 photos of Colton Haynes and Emily Bett were showcased in Vanity Fair. His 2015 series “Historical Fiction” included a picture of a black man hanging a KKK member, while his 2014 series, Provocateur, involved an alligator biting a crocodile bag. Critics, including art critic Paddy Johnson, and writer/photographer Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, have accused Shields of plagiarizing others’ ideas.