Petra Gut Contemporary presents the first solo exhibition within Switzerland of Los Angeles-based artist Tyler Shields. Provocateur presents a comprehensive retrospective ranging over his entire career.
Tyler Shields has made a name for himself as a fine art photographer. But before the world knew Shields as the photo provocateur that he is today, he seemingly lived a life as complex and diverse as his pictures.
As a child growing up in Jacksonville Florida, Shields became a professional in-line skater and went on to compete in the x games and win the world championship. At an early age Shields became custom to success and the unwavering dedication that it takes to be the best. So it should come as no surprise that shortly after starting his photography career Shields became the youngest living artist to be in auction at Sotheby’s.
Countless auctions later Sotheby’s stated that “Shields has produced images that play with notions of the gaze, power structures, hyper-realism, iconoclastic- tendencies and cinematographic practice”.
Name a celebrity and Shields has probably shot them; from Hollywood legends like Bruce Willis to industry titans like Elon Musk and everyone in between. His earliest work broke the internet with images featuring Lindsey Lohan running wild through LA, Emma Roberts jumping off of buildings and countless other young A-list stars doing what every magazine told him could not be done.
At the start of his career Shields was turned away by every magazine in publication all of which told him that there was no way a celebrity would ever shoot outside of a studio and that his lavish stunts broadcasted across every website meant nothing because and I quote “the internet was never going to replace magazines”.
Shields has had his models run from planes flying feet over their heads, and holding $100,000 Birkin’s on fire next to their faces. Not to mention his image titled Lady And The Lion where Shields had me dangle a steak over a live lions mouth.
Tyler Shields : Provocateur
December 16, 2023 – March 9, 2024
Petra Gut Contemporary
Via Chavallera 1A
7500 St. Moritz, Switzerland