Tyler Shields Makes Lame Art for Douchebags
Nothing in recent years has confused/ annoyed me as much as the rise of photographer Tyler Shields. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, he’s kind of like Banksy (i.e., he makes really, really obvious and lame statements about like, capitalism or whatever) mixed with the Cobrasnake (i.e., a guy who owns a very expensive camera). His work tackles all kinds of big issues, like this picture of a guy in a hazmat suit carting toxic waste out of a McDonald’s (GET IT?!), or this one of Mickey Mouse holding a gun (GET IT?!?!), or this one of a Barbie doll snorting cocaine (GET IT!??!).
I know there’s tons of that kind of terrible, terrible art out there, so me making fun of it here is pretty easy and pointless. But for some reason, Tyler has gotten HUGE, and nobody seems to have called him out on being the worst. There’s even an article on one of his shoots in the Daily Mailtoday. I know the Daily Mail is hardly American Art Review, but still, it’s pretty crazy.
I went along to his art opening in–surprise surprise–Los Angeles a couple of weeks back with the intention of interviewing him. I didn’t get a chance to, because he was busy being busy the whole night. But here is some of what I saw.
Before I went over to see what was in the briefcase, I tried to pre-empt the crushing obviousness of its contents by making a list of what I thought would be in there on my phone. It read: “Gun, ball-gag, sex toys, drugs, cash, condoms, other things that a teddy bear wouldn’t usually be associated with (apart from by idiot artists).”
Pretty close! And a ski mask n’ some lingerie to boot! Consider that wholesome imagery #SUBVERTED
This art-piece greeted you on the way in to the main exhibition space. Again, I think it may have had some kind of Big Message, but unfortunately the themes were too complex for me to decipher.
There are a few people in this world who really are “the worst” and this guy is one of them.