Andrew Weiss Gallery is thrilled to present Historical Fiction, an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based photographer Tyler Shields. Historical Fiction was photographed on locations across the United States over a period of twelve months through early 2015. These large-scale, color-saturated and black and white photographs are the artist’s powerful interpretations of iconic moments as well as individual reactions to 1960’s American political and pop culture history including the first men on the moon, the disbanding of The Beatles, the Golden Age of air travel, racial violence, and the deaths of James Dean, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Marilyn Monroe. The series also includes a four-minute video installation featuring Nathan Fillion and Christa B. Allen entitled “Man on the Moon”. Historical Fiction reflects on the complicated, controversial, and emotional times of one of the most influential eras of the twentieth century in ways that have never been seen before.
“Tyler Shields is an American photographer and former professional inline skater known for his provocative and sometimes controversial work. Shields was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1982. He began his photography career in 2003 by posting pictures to MySpace and published his first book just two years later. He was inspired and mentored by Rich Cook, a skate photographer, with whom he lived in San Diego. As a successful photographer, Tyler Shields has had over twenty solo exhibitions worldwide including Imitate Modern Gallery, London, England; Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio; Samuel Lynne Gallery, Dallas, Texas; Guy Hepner Gallery, Los Angeles, California; and now at Andrew Weiss Gallery, Santa Monica, California. Shields has published three books and has a fourth on the way for 2016. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
About Historical Fiction, Tyler Shields says, “No matter what age you are and no matter where you were, tragic moments in history such as 9/11, JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr. impact all of us. Other moments may influence us in a different way and can have a lasting effect, like first time you travel in an airplane, are inspired by art, see a magic trick, or fall in love.” Shields continues, “With Historical Fiction, I have tried to create a narrative of history frozen in time, as if each image were part of a book where the first and last hundred pages have been torn out, and the story is for you to decipher. What happened before and after is only up to the imagination of the viewer, and it’s that viewer that can envision themselves in many of these moments in time.”
A second phase of the Historical Fiction exhibition, a series within the series of works inspired by Marilyn Monroe, will open just before the anniversary of her birthday on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
May 19, 2015 until June 27, 2015: All works from the Historical Fiction series are chromogenic prints printed on Kodak pro-endure paper by Icon in Los Angeles, California. Every image is available in three size formats that are 22.5 x 30 inches for small, 45 x 60 inches for medium, and 58 x 77 inches for large prints. Each size format is an edition of three with two artist proofs, marked AP. Each one of the images is hand signed and numbered on a separate Certificate of Authenticity issued by the artist. There are a total of twenty-one works hanging on the walls with each one framed on an aluminum backing with an inch and a half of black frame without glass. These works that are chromogenic prints are full-color photographic prints made using chromogenic materials and processes. These prints may be produced from an original that is a color negative, slide, or digital image. The chromogenic print process was nearly synonymous with the twentieth-century color snapshot. The first commercially available chromogenic print process was Kodak-color, introduced by Kodak in January 1942.
For this exhibition, Tyler Shields used Hasselblad camera that is known for its intense amount of depth, look and originality. Founded in 1941 in Gothenburg, Sweden, Hasselblad has been the leading manufacturer and partner for photographers working in the medium format environment for over half a century, consistently providing the highest level of quality and innovation. The extraordinary quality of the camera became famous in 1962 when Hasselblad cameras were selected for NASA space missions. Since the beginning Hasselblad cameras were born from a love for photography and to give photographers the technical excellence needed to realize their creative vision.
During the photo-shoot entitled Martin Luther King Jr., Tyler Shields recalls having the female models breakout in tears as they are reading their newspapers, while sitting in a hair salon and getting their hairs dried, with a headline that says “King Shot to Death in Memphis”. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. His death shocked a country rocked by riots, civil discord, and a controversial war. It sparked nationwide protests and an outpouring of grief for the slain civil rights leader who continues to stand for equal rights and justice for all.
The exhibition series will be on view to the public at the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Santa Monica, California from May 19, 2015 until June 27, 2015. A catalog of the works will be available for purchase. For details, please contact Andrew Weiss Gallery.
Finally, when Historical Fiction comes to a conclusion on June 27, Tyler Shields will be looking forward to the release of his film entitled “Final Girl” scheduled for August 2015. “Final Girl” is an upcoming American action thriller directed by Tyler Shields in his directorial debut, written by Adam Prince, based on the story by Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, and Johnny Silver, and starring Abigail Breslin. For the end of the 2015 year, Tyler plans another exhibition in London, England, which he has yet to decide for the theme. Meanwhile, he will be working on a television series to keep himself busy.”