Tyler Shields is arguably the most controversial photographer of the 21st Century so far. From his images documenting sybaritic Young Hollywood and frantic, pointless excess, to domestic violence, he has shocked the public and outraged people for the past decade.
Forget about his infamous photos of a 100 thousand dollar Hermes bag being set on fire (which the Today Show was a bit over), or his classic eye popping revisionist history photo of a naked black man hoisting up a white robed Klansman by the neck with a rope.
Shocking and provocative?
But perhaps no photo has stirred more outrage and shock than one of Kathy Griffin holding the severed, bloody head of Donald Trump in her grip.
Its effect on the MAGA crowd was nothing if not galvanizing.
It also led to a weird couple of days in the life and career of Kathy Griffin. (Who we have ALWAYS liked.) People who had never heard of the c list celebrity became volcanically opinionated about her.
She lost a couple of high profile Hollywood gigs.
Worst of all, she was defriended by America's silver fox, Anderson Cooper. Which: who can even?
The thermonuclear poopstorm that descended on the campy comedian was so much that she ended up issuing an apology to the public. Which: We also can't even,... Rosie O'Donnel.
Of course, the rest of the country eventually caught up to her original way of thinking and she has recently capitulated. As of this writing, she has taken the apology back and generated 3 minutes of C list fame as a result.
Throughout the entire process, the young photographer behind the whole debacle has kept a low profile. Which must have taken supernatural effort, given global attention to his photo.
Well. Perhaps 'low profile for Tyler Shields' would be more accurate:
Which hasnt served to make the image less profitable.
According to recent gossipy reports, Tyler has been offered bids on the original print in excess of 6 figures. After pooh poohing the very idea in a recent tweet, he relented and confirmed that the purchasing interest has been intense, with more than a thousand offers coming in from literally around the globe.
People have been making much out of the fact that Kathy Griffin apparently won't get a penny from it. She signed the releases, and definitely got a huge boost in her public profile... Although her moment in the sun was a bit intense. In fact she seems to have her hands full with her next door neighbor at the moment.
Will the Young Hollywood shock photographer join Shepard Fairy as a globally recognized artist through highly politicized work?
And he might end up making a decent profit along the way.
This writer has always found Tyler's work delightfully fun.
What do you think? Is more than a hundred thousand dollars a lot for a single photograph? Or is it also an obscene amount for a hand bag?