Bursting onto the scene in 2010, celebrity videographer/photographer Tyler Shields seems poised to be the next Terry Richardson. Like many of his young fans, I stumbled across Shields on Youtube when I found this video portrait he did of Deborah Ann Woll. The 52 second video showed Woll staring lustily into the camera. Of course I was intrigued. Just what was I watching and who was this filmmaker behind it? As I clicked on related video after video, I found myself watching a series of “video portraits” of young Hollywood, all done by this mysterious Tyler Shields.
With no formal training, Shields began by directing music videos and then photography. Starting out on MySpace, Shields gained a peak of 400,000 followers who were all avid fans of his signature overly-exposed, controversial style. His favourite tools in his belt? Guns, blood, water and lots and lots of sex. It’s a spicy combination that has earned Shield’s notoriety and quite a lot of hate mail. Whether he’s receiving death threats for his pseudo-glorification of domestic abuse on Heather Morris, or he’s shocking parents everywhere with his images of Lindsay Lohan as a murderess, Shields loves to push boundaries by immortalizing all the dark impulses in his head that most people keep quiet.
Check out some of his work below and let me know what you think – is Shields a genius, or a one-trick pony?