Born in 1982, Shields’ work derives from a unique history of directing music videos and working with the legendary skateboarding icon Tony Hawk. Mr. Shields has produced images that play with notions of the gaze, power structures, hyper-realism, iconoclastic tendencies and cinematographic practice. He has worked with Hollywood ranking members, including Mischa Barton, Emma Roberts, Aaron Paul, Demi Lovato, Juno Temple, Shiloh Fernandez, and others. Tyler’s output involves various mediums, from book publishing “The Dirty Side of Glamour in 2011 to a novel entitled “Smartest Man”, and a cluster of solo shows: Mouthful, Los Angeles (2012), Miller Gallery Cincinnati, Ohio (2012), Phothub Manomtr, Moscow, Russia (2012) and more.

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Shield’s technical brilliance as a photographer has much more to do with the shift in focus from the fragility of the “celebrity photographer” to the output of the contemporary art medium. Most talented people who work with him include actors who are serious about their profession but are not celebrities. People will go to him to make art rather than celebrity photography.

Shields’ work is a type of ‘dark romance’ that scales the bandwidth of image development in the age of Google Image searches, the Internet, and a nearly infinite source and access to moving-image-making material and iconography. The challenge is finding the right nodes toward a product or project that captures the body from its most emaciated status of apathy to the near-classical ideal forms that captivate and engage the attention and interests of our collective gaze.

As an artist, Tyler Shields attempts to move through the complexes and layers of the “celebrity” sphere into an inherently tangible vision of the portrait and its meaning and context in a rather shifting landscape of identities that accumulate into what we call the 21st century. What does it mean to be alive in the 21st century? How does it look? How will it look 500 years from now in the future, in five years? What does it take for an image to capture attention throughout the deep gaze of time and the ever more increasing scrutiny of the platform of the contemporary space of art, now, then and a thousand tomorrows from today, or a thousand ‘likes’ from now?

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