Tyler Shields Opens ‘Dreaming Awake’ Sale at Sotheby’s

LONDON — Remember the much-talked about images of Emma Roberts falling off a window and eating dollar bills? Or Lindsay Lohan posing with a gun while drenched in blood?

Behind them all was Tyler Shields, the Californian fine art photographer and filmmaker, who built a reputation for sharp, surrealist imagery featuring young Hollywood stars and exploring everything from violence, to eroticism, consumerism and fantasy.

A selection of his work, including photographs taken during lockdown outside a deserted Chateau Marmont, are going on sale at Sotheby’s online Friday until March 12. And they’re available to purchase immediately, not via auction.

“This collection taps into many of the themes that I’ve explored over the past 20 years. The latest works date to 2020-21, which I took during lockdown — a period that has weirdly focused me. The pandemic has made us all think differently, and these are photographs I may not ever have made had it not been for this time,” said Shields, pointing to the black-and-white images he took of a lingerie-clad model walking outside the Chateau Marmont.

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The collection for Sotheby’s also includes some of his most recognizable work, such as “Prada Pop-Corn” or “Rolls Royce on Fire,” which features a collage of images documenting the progression of a Rolls Royce catching fire and exploding.

Tyler Shields, “Rolls-Royce on Fire” 2014 Courtesy of Imitate Modern & Sotheby’s

The former in-line skater has always had a flair for making the seemingly impossible come to life, from setting a Rolls-Royce on fire; making Roberts look like she could defy gravity and fly, or showcase a model dragging an alligator in his “Birkin Tug of War” photograph, dating back to 2012.

“All my photographs tell a story — they are a freeze frame of just a split second yet they provide a window into a world of fantasy, eroticism, violence, romance, you name it. For me, good art makes you think, great art makes you feel, and I hope that when anyone views my work, they’re aroused by some sort of emotion — whether that be shock, joy, love or even anger,” added the photographer.

Tyler Shields, “Glitter Mouth” 2012 Courtesy of Imitate Modern & Sotheby’s

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