Chromogenic print on Kodak Pro Endura paper
Girl Reads About the Death of James Dean by Tyler Shields
Photographer Tyler Shields’s new series Historical Fiction puts America’s Civil Rights era in bright bold color.
The photos explore dark moments in history, including the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Martin Luther King Jr., with many of them honing in on moments that confront the country’s racist past.
Historical Fiction was photographed in locations across the United States over a period of twelve months through early 2015. These large-scale color-saturated and black and white photographs are the artist’s powerful interpretations of iconic moments and individual reactions to 1960s American political and pop culture history.
Shields says, “We started shooting this series almost a year ago. I kept all the images secret,” says Los Angeles-based photographer Tyler Shields on his latest series. “One of the most exciting things about a gallery is the first time that the doors open. It’s such a unique and amazing experience because you’re having these people who knew nothing about it. Watching people look at the photos and react to them–it’s honestly indescribable the feeling that you get from it.”
“You have these iconic moments: John F. Kennedy, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King, you know, all the way even to man landing on the moon. To take some of these moments that shaped history and not recreate the actual moments, but recreate some of the reactions to those moments. That was one of the ideas behind historical Fiction.”
The works feature many actors including Michelle Monaghan, Rose McIver, Jennifer Morrison, Ana Mulvoy-Ten, Hassie Harrison, Alexandra Krosney, Christa B. Allen, Lily Pepper, Natalie Alyn Lind, Barabara Alyn Woods, Kevin Phillips, Cru Ennis, Dominic Blackwell-Cooper, Holland Roden, Logan Huffman, Tiffany Hines, Haley Ramm, Alexandra Krosney, Lauren Perez, Nathan Fillion, and Abigail Breslin.
About Tyler Shields:
Tyler Shields is a photographer, film director, and writer, best known for his unique, controversial, shock-evoking captures of Hollywood celebrities. In addition to his Fine Art photographs, he has shot campaigns for brands like Nike, Adidas, Playboy, Harley Davidson, and Gergé Swiss watches, among others. In 2014, the publishing of Tyler Shields’s book, including Smartest Man and The Dirty Side of Glamour, the completion of his first feature-length film, Final Girl, became huge successes.
Shields was born in Jacksonville, Florida where he grew up to become a professional inline skater, he competed in the X Games in ’99 and 2000, even touring with Tony Hawk in 2003. However, this athlete wanted to do more so at 18, he moved to LA.
Always having an interest in photography he began uploading images and videos. “I took a picture of a closet that became really famous on the internet back in the days when MySpace first started. A girlfriend cheated on me, so I took all her shit and I threw it out,” says Shields. An unknown advertising agency saw this picture, bought it off him and even commissioned him to shoot an ad campaign. Being in Hollywood and understanding the power of social media, not only were people buying his photos but asking to have theirs taken.”..then the people who I was shooting weren’t famous but became famous. And famous people started wanting to shoot.” His photographer Las Angeles captures include some of the most over-the-top, brutal aspects of contemporary celebrity culture.
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