Art knows no bounds. The need to exalt, to disturb, and to awaken the senses is at the core of any artistic genius. L.A. based photographer Tyler Shields is notorious for doing just that: he mashes together the glamour and the grime, the beauty and the obscenity, the past and the present. Shields does not play by the rules; he responds to whatever grabs him at the time, be it aristocratic hedonism of 18th century France, or the dark side of Hollywood glamour. He was famously quoted “I like to create my own history and the freedom in that is priceless.”
Among the many epithets thrown at Shields by the critics, he chose to embrace one – “Provocateur”, which became the title of his book. These published images also built the basis of multiple exhibits carrying the same “Provocateur” title; one currently on display here in Dallas at Samuel Lynne Galleries. The gallery is known for focusing on the finest examples of 21st century contemporary art, and “Provocateur” surely fits the bill. The exhibit is a real treat for the senses. It feels like a distorted reflection of the glamor world, or a disturbed Hollywood dream, immediately unforgettable and provocative.
The opening reception, that took place January 7th, 2017, drew considerable crowds, as it featured a selection of Tyler Shields’ most notable work. Among them were decadent Marie Antoinette-inspired presentations, licentious glamor portraits, and thought-provoking object compositions. His skill of perception is truly striking, as well as his ability to draw out his subjects in a manner that is truly revealing. Magical and disturbing, his art is a testament to his talent, and at the young age of 34, we are sure to be pleasantly “shocked” many more times by Tyler Shields in the future.