Tyler Shields

Tyler Shields (born April 29, 1982)[1] is an American photographer,[2] screenwriter, director, and former professional inline skater known for provocative photography. Shields gained additional notoriety in June 2017 for a photo of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a prop that looked like Donald Trump's severed head.

Tyler Shields
Tyler Shields with LG ‘Nitro HD’.jpg
Shields in December 2011
Born (1982-04-29) April 29, 1982 (age 38)
OccupationPhotographer, screenwriter, director, inline skater

Life and careerEdit

Shields was born in Jacksonville, Florida.[3]

Inline skatingEdit

Shields competed professionally as a vert inline skater. He participated in the 1999 and 2000 X Games and toured with Tony Hawk in 2003.[4][5][6]


Shields credits Fraser Kee Scott of A Gallery with discovering him, stating, "I have a lot of friends that are Scientologists ... Fraser [Kee Scott], the guy who runs that gallery, he found me back in the MySpace days. He is a very, very fucking smart guy and he has a great eye for things. He worked at my last gallery and to my knowledge he wasn't promoting Scientology to anybody, he was trying to sell art."[7]

Shields has exhibited several series of photographs. In January 2016, Vanity Fair featured some of Shields' photographs of Colton Haynes and Emily Bett.[8] Shields' series "Historical Fiction" [2015] featured a black man hanging a KKK member.[9] The series covered events as the deaths of James Dean, John F Kennedy, Dr Martin Luther King, and Marilyn Monroe; the first men on the moon; and the break-up of The Beatles.[10] In his 2014 series Provocateur, he had an alligator biting a crocodile bag.[11] Another photograph from this series, "Three Witches," was included as part of the Sotheby's auction in London.[12] His photograph "Bunny" was featured in the Phillip's London auction.[13]

Some observers, including Henry Leutwyler, art critic Paddy Johnson,[14] and writer/photographer Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, have said that Tyler Shields takes other artists' concepts and passes them off as his own.[15]

Tyler Shields has written two books of photography. His first photography book, "The Dirty Side of Glamour," was released in November 2013 and published by Harper Collins' subsidiary Dey Street Books.[16] His second book, "Provocateur," was published in January 2017.[17]

Shields' work often involves images of violence and danger.[18] He collected blood from 20 celebrities to make a piece of art for his Life Is Not a Fairytale exhibit in Los Angeles[19] and also photographed Lindsay Lohan as a vampire for that exhibit.[20] In 2010, Shields photographed Lohan in studio portraits brandishing a gun.[21] Shields was criticized for a photoshoot with Glee star Heather Morris with a bruised eye as making light of abusive treatment of women.[22] His oeuvre has been criticized as copying other photographers' work.[2][23] In 2017, Shields' photograph of Kathy Griffin holding a "bloody head resembling" U.S. President Donald Trump's face caused an uproar, causing both Donald Trump Jr. and Chelsea Clinton to denounce the act.[24] Griffin later criticized Shields for refusing to grant her the photograph's copyright, as well as the comparatively minor amount of public criticism experienced by Shields compared to herself, which Griffin attributed to sexism.[25]


On December 15, 2014, Shields' script The Wild Ones was featured in the Black List, an annual list of the most well-liked unproduced screenplays.[26][27] Shields directed the 2015 action thriller film Final Girl, which starred Abigail Breslin.[28]



  1. ^ Jacopo Nuvolari. "Chromatic by Tyler Shields". 1883 Magazine. GlamStyle. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (January 15, 2016). "Is Celebrity Photographer Tyler Shields Inspired, Or Copying Other Artists?". vice.com. Vice. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Francesca Eastwood & Tyler Shields". The Daily Truffle. May 20, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  4. ^ Clark, Ryan F. (January 11, 2003). "Hawk Still Stoked Over Tricks Of Trade". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  5. ^ "The 1999 ASA Pro Tour jams N2 Ontario CA". N2inline.Com. June 3, 1999. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  6. ^ Tomalin, Terry (May 19, 2000). "Edgy sport keeps generation in-line". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Ann Binlot (12 August 2011). "What's Lindsay Lohan Doing With That Knife?: A Q&A With Tyler Shields, Young Hollywood's Hottest and Most Twisted Photographer". Blouin Artinfo. Blouin Media. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  8. ^ Rich, Katey (January 14, 2016). "Exclusive: Colton Haynes Dons Drag with Emily Bett Rickards". www.vanityfair.com. Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  9. ^ Jones, Justin (13 May 2015). "A Black Man Hangs a White Supremacist: Tyler Shields's Charged Photography". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Historical Fiction by Tyler Shields – Our World – Hasselblad". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  11. ^ Writer, Carly Ledbetter Huffington Post Entertainment (15 May 2014). "Alligator Takes A Big Bite Out Of $100,000 Crocodile Birkin Bag". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  12. ^ "shields tyler 'three witches' 2014 – fashion – sotheby's l16780lot8zydzen".
  13. ^ "PHILLIPS : UK040215, TYLER-SHIELDS".
  14. ^ Johnson, Paddy; Farley, Michael Anthony (June 1, 2017). "Tyler Shields is A Terrible Artist. Kathy Griffin is Just His Accomplice". ArtFCity. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  15. ^ "Is Celebrity Photographer Tyler Shields Inspired, Or Copying Other Artists?".
  16. ^ Ashley Lee (August 2, 2012). "Tyler Shields Talks Debut Photo Book 'The Dirty Side of Glamour' (Exclusive Image)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Shields, Tyler. Provocateur: Photographs. amazon.com. Glitterati. ISBN 978-1943876297.
  18. ^ Lina Lecaro (10 November 2011). "Tyler Shields: Warhol or Wannabe?". LAWeekly. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  19. ^ Shields collects stars' blood for artwork Star (magazine) April 7, 2011
  20. ^ Lindsay poses as vampire in new Tyler Shields’ exhibit Tuesday, Daily Times May 10, 2011
  21. ^ Oh, Eunice (2010-04-29). "PHOTO: Lindsay Lohan with Gun to Her Mouth". People.com. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  22. ^ Ellie Krupnick (2 September 2011). "Heather Morris Poses For Domestic Abuse-Themed Shoot (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  23. ^ Leutwyler, Harry (March 26, 2015). "Everyone wants to be successful until they see what it actually takes? (Harry Leutwyler Instagram account)". Retrieved June 1, 2017. @henryleutwyler @thetylershields just for the sake of the argument, this is the original photograph. I find it somehow offensive to attribute yourself the "creation" of it ‼️ #thetylershields
  24. ^ Sandra Gomez (30 May 2017). "Kathy Griffin: 'I beg for your forgiveness' for gruesome anti-Trump photo shoot". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  25. ^ Schneller, Johanna (May 17, 2018). ""Kathy Griffin is using her Trump photo controversy to fuel a world tour"". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  26. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (December 15, 2014). "Watch: Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, Rian Johnson & More Announce 2014 Black List, Plus Full Ranking Of Scripts". Indiewire. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  27. ^ Tyler Shields The Wild Ones Nov 18th, 2014
  28. ^ "Witness a Final Girl in Training – Dread Central". 4 August 2015.

External linksEdit