Admittedly I was first introduced to Tyler Shields as a photographer through the lens of the reality television show Mrs. Eastwood & Company. The year was 2012. He was dating Francesca Eastwood, one of his muses at the time. Some others included Lindsay Lohan, Emma Roberts, and Mischa Barton, the trifecta of cool girls that just don't give a shit, the epitome of everything I wanted to appear to be.
His style is in the same vein as Terry Richardson; high flash, evocative and pushing every boundary possible. His imagery portrays what's layered under the plastering of smiles. Faint whispers of our darkest thoughts swept away to the back of our minds.
Amongst my favorite images starring the it girls from the early 2000's era, is the graphic testament of progressive faith featuring Kathy Griffin holding a bloodied DT head. Even as a strong willed anti-DT fan, it's not his head that grasps my eye line. I go straight to the vacancy in her expression. That's what makes me love the image so much, his head doesn't distract from the depth of her lack luster emotion. Fight, flight or freeze in one image. A photographic depiction of absolute shock.
She was immediately cancelled, the first I've seen of this kind. Getting cancelled for using art as a form of therapy makes art pointless. She went on an apology tour to follow, which disappointed me most.
But Tyler lives on and continues to create art I can't get enough of. He makes me want to go there with no disclaimer in tow. Create art with no bounds. I'm scared but I'll try with Tyler to inspire. I tried to interview him once for my old blog and had agreed before a schedule change or two, but if anyone knows him gimme a holler, I want 5 minutes to rummage through his mind.
All photos in this post are by Tyler Shields.