An interview with Tyler Shields

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Ahead of Photo London 2021, we asked world renowned artist Tyler Shields about his inclusion in the fair and how he sees the arts developing in a post-Pandemic world.

Tyler Shields, Glitter Mouth

Why did you choose the eleven prints for Photo London? Is there a theme that unifies the prints?

I think the biggest theme is the idea that over the years I have done so many shows in London yet I have never been able to even scratch the surface on all my collections, so we wanted to have a mix of work from multiple collections.

How, in your opinion, has the Covid pandemic shaped the way we engage with art?

It has changed everything. People were sitting at home for a long time and that alone made people want to add new work and change up their art and some people had art for the first time.
I can’t tell you how many collectors I talk to where I am the first photograph they have ever bought.
I was talking to someone who has been collecting paintings for 30 years and just bought his first photograph and that brings me a lot of joy – not even just for myself but for the art of photography itself.

Tyler Shields, Under The Rain, 2018


What changes do you hope to see in the arts as the world starts to exit the pandemic phase?

I feel like the whole art world is about to change. Where it’s going to go I can’t say, but with NFTS opening up a younger generation to art plus the traditional collectors now buying online, and the fact that art is the only business in history never to crash – it’s all very interesting.

What concepts/themes make photography – and to a greater extent, art -timeless?
Photography is no different than painting when done correctly it creates a feeling inside you and timeless comes from you getting a feeing and your grandchild getting the same feeling

Tyler Shields, Chateau Marmont, 2020


What does it mean to you to be a provocateur?
I have never known anything else…


What advice would you give to an emerging photographer?
Photography is a marathon not a sprint, and figure out what you want to say and say it. Don’t say what you think people want you to say.

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