A Florida-born photographer is attracting the ire of Americans after he took a picture of Kathy Griffin holding a severed head that resembled Donald Trump. Tyler Shields published the image on his website on May 30. The other images from the Griffin photo shoot show the comedian by the pool in the Hollywood hills wearing a leather suit with leather boots. Donald Trump JR. was one of the first to denounce the picture. The younger Trump took to Twitter to say, “Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?” While Shields joked on Twitter, “I hear Tijuana is beautiful this time of year.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shields Has Been Accused of Copying Other Photographer’s Work Without Crediting Them
In January 2016, Vice published an article titled “Is Celebrity Photographer Tyler Shields Inspired, Or Copying Other Artists?” The piece lists off the celebrities that have worked with Shields as well as the photographer’s claim that his work has sold for up to $175,000.
The article cites an interview that Shields did where he said:
I just love to show people the way I see the world. It’s important for me to explore the things that I see and create inspiration from the worlds around me. I don’t look to other artists, just the world.
The interviewer then asks Shields about fellow controversial photographer, Terry Richardson, to which Shields said, “To be honest I don’t look at other peoples work I only know who Terry is because people have asked me if I like this work.”
2. Shields Liked to Get Celebrities Out of Their Comfort Zones
The Daily Beast interviewed Shields in November 2013. He told the website about his likes and what he expects of his subjects:
I had all of these crazy ideas and people were just like, ‘That will never happen. You’re never going to get celebrities to this, to get out of their comfort zone.
Despite his willingness to take celebrities out of their comfort zones, according to his own website, Shields is “Hollywood’s favorite photographer.” The same bio cites him as the “bad boy of photography.”
3. Shields Began His Artistic Life Directing Skate & Music Videos
4. Away From Photography, Shields Directed His First Feature Film in 2015
5. Shields Isn’t the First Person to Use Artist to Protest Against Trump
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