Photographer Tyler Shields is best known for controversial works that have challenged celebrity culture or provoked the fashion industry — using a Chanel No. 5 bottle as a sippy cup, for instance. He had a crocodile chew on an Hermès Birkin handbag for one shoot, angering fashion editors and animal-rights activists alike.
As an in-line skater before becoming a photographer, Shields toured with Tony Hawk and competed in the X Games. In 2003, while packing up an ex-girlfriend’s belongings after a breakup, he borrowed his roommate’s camera and shot a hanger and two pairs of shoes left in the empty closet. Then he sold the photo on MySpace, used the money to purchase a camera of his own, and launched his career. His photographs of young celebrities like Emma Roberts and Demi Lovato have often pushed both his subjects and his viewers out of their comfort zones — and on more than one occasion, they’ve gone too far.
The Los Angeles–based photographer’s new book Provocateur, out this month from Glitteratti, showcases some of his most striking works to date. Click ahead to preview the book.