Photographer Feeds $100k Purse To An Alligator For The Sake Of Art

Photographer Tyler Shields sat on a 7 month waiting list to acquire a rare and in-demand $100,000 Crocodile Birkin bag... and fed it to an alligator all for the sake of art. These images are part of his fine art series “Indulgence,” which is set to premiere in galleries in Los Angeles and London shortly. See some of the final images below. What do you think of them?

According to the photographer:

"...the photo shoot wasn’t without its risks. Shields says, 'At one point during the shoot, when Ana and the gator were both biting the bag, it closed one of its eyes as if it was going to attack her, but didn’t. It was one of the most insane moments I have ever photographed. Inches from death at any moment.' "

Head over to re-tox to see the full story.




This is not the first time Tyler has been in the news for creating something that gets people talking. He also recently created a painting from the blood of 25 people:

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Rusty's picture

I love the shot of them both chewing on the purse.

Brian Reese's picture

Dumb... just like the blood thing.

CurrentCo's picture

Crocodile Purse: $100,000
Medium format camera: $50,000
Hire a crew/model, rent a location: $10,000
....put it all together and shoot it with midday sun....

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

I don't mind the hard light.

CurrentCo's picture

I think it looks "ok" in the last picture, but definitely not as good as it could be. IMO it looks like cheap, dare I say: "Terry-Richardson" -esque lighting. But then again I think this is more of a pop-culture/publicity "controversial-art" stunt than it is a photographer wanting to create dynamic moving imagery. Nevertheless it does create a statement.

Veldask Krofkomanov's picture

You must be the kind of photographer that always uses soft light, that always uses the rule of thirds, that always uses a tripod for landscapes, etc etc.

Psst, bro, it's okay to go against the grain every once in a while in regards to photography.

Bo Dez's picture

This guy is such a douche his pics are always horrendous. So tacky and cheap, they always come across as so lifeless and amateurish. The last time he did this with a Birkin bag the internet quickly pointed out it was a fake bag.

Daniel S's picture

only the first photo appears to convey his intended message effectively.

David Apeji's picture

Whatever it takes to get noticed

Henry Wu's picture

$100 and I can photoshop this for you and you won't even be able to tell it's not a photograph.

Veldask Krofkomanov's picture

Challenge accepted. Do it, and if I can tell, no $100 for you. But if I can't, you're not getting any money. When should I expect results?

Amasa Delano's picture

It seems to me that the art world is too often impressed with gimmicks instead of real artistic talent. Sometimes it is less about the quality of the output than it is what outlandish stunt the "artist" pulled in making the piece. I really don't care if someone uses human blood or monkey feces to paint a picture if the picture is just some abstract garbage that looks like someone threw up on a canvas (they've probably done that, too). Like Tyler Shields, a lot of modern artists are really just marketing geniuses who trick the most naive and gullible sheep of the art community into giving them money. Frankly, my opinion is that his idea for this photo shoot is pretty predictable and unimaginative. A woman fighting an alligator for an overly-expensive alligator purse. Where's the imagination in that?

Gareth Iwan Jones's picture

All froth and no coffee.The dude's been watching too much 90's MTV.

Ricky Perrone's picture

Yeah, not digging this. The concept really seems sort of cliche. The final photo was decent, the hard light is interesting.

Jayson Carey's picture

Since it was just for the image, he could have gone just off of Times Square and gotten an identical knockoff for $25 if he sucked at haggling.

Veldask Krofkomanov's picture

You actually believe that's not what he did? Of course he got a knockoff. You'd be the world's biggest idiot if you didn't. And here's a hint, don't believe what he says, because it would lose impact if he admitted how much it truly costs him.

Spy Black's picture

I don't think putting a person in potential harm's way for a shoot is too well thought-out a concept. Not that it's the first time, but it's an obvious time.

Bryn Price's picture

Spend $100k on the bag, expensive medium format camera, and then shoot a croc bag with a alligator. At least shoot with the right animal to make your point.

jen's picture

I love Tyler Shields! To everyone saying you could photoshop it that is why this guys sells prints for millions of dollars and you don't photoshop SUCKS! : )

Hank's picture

As someone whose wife owns numerous Birkins including ostridge and croc skin bags, that knock off POS isn't worth more than 80 bucks. Doesn't even have the proper shape. Oh and the photos are lame to boot.

Dan Chippendale's picture

Sort of reminds me of when The KLF did this in the 90s

Adam Doyle's picture

How many people could $100,000 feed?

Martin Gross's picture

"Art is everything you can get away with." Andy Warhol...

Aethynvan's picture

It was one of the most insane moments I have ever photographed. Inches from death at any moment.’ “

Will Chamberlin's picture

I think he was referring to the model..

Annie Sarmad's picture

It seems like art these days is spending insane amounts of money on crap and putting it on the internet…lessening are the days when people made art with a story for their own sake.

Brian Dowling's picture

The bag he set on fire a couple years ago was deemed fake. This is too, but awesome PR stunt as it's been buzzing around social media the last couple weeks.

Omar Salgado's picture

I do see the "message", but I don't get the art in it. Can someone please tell me where the art is?

Iain Simpson's picture

He could have saved $100k with Photoshop

Veldask Krofkomanov's picture

Bro, you actually believe he used the real bag and not some knockoff. Don't be foolish, bro.

Francisco JN's picture

It's not about art, the fake bag, or the photo technique. It's all about noise. If people talks about him, his products sells more and with higher price tags. I would have shot it with an iphone though...

paul's picture

Peter Beard did all of this long ago with a fare greater degree of panache!

Maarten Deckx's picture

Just one question: why?

Anthony C's picture

Lame. All sorts of lame.