Photographer Tyler Shields has made a decent living by trading heavily in two major markets of the city of Los Angeles: celebrity and scandal. One picture series saw him collecting blood from 20 starlets, another had him giving a “Glee” star gruesome black-eye makeup. Plus, he’s chosen as a primary muse none other than Lindsay Lohan. He shot pictures of Lohan sticking a gun in her own mouth.
Like his professional life, Shields’ personal exploits wade in the same themes. For two years the 30-year-old been dating Francesca Eastwood, the 19-year-old daughter of actor/director Clint Eastwood. There’s an age difference, yes, but this hardly passes for scandal in La La Land. So, with the Eastwood daughters’ reality show, “Mrs. Eastwood & Company,” in its first season on E!, Shields thought up a shoot that struck even more of a nerve than his usual exhibitionist sex and violence. He and Francesca would document the destruction of an Hermes Birkin bag.
“For the people who don’t know, a Birkin is the most sought after bag in the entire world,” Shields explains on his website. “There is a waiting list and some of them can run upwards of $100,000. This is the red Crocodile Birkin VS the red $200 chainsaw and 4 dollars of gasoline!”
Spoiler alert: the $204 of power tools and fire-starters prevail over the $100,000 of red crocodile skin.
If the comment section on Shields’ website is to be taken seriously, this whole art project seems to have made a few people mad. The response on Twitter hasn’t exactly been encouraging, either. And Eastwood is also receiving death threats. Not that Shields would care, and one can imagine his girlfriend doesn’t either. Page Six reports that Eastwood has been complaining about how “people simply did not understand art.”
“Mrs. Eastwood & Company” airs on E!, Sundays at 10:00 pm.