California celebuspawn Francesca Eastwood got into some hot water recently when photographs taken by her boyfriend of eight months, Tyler Shields, ignited a fierce tabloid backlash. Eastwood, who is depicted lighting an Hermès Birkin bag on fire — one of the world's most coveted luxury goods, a handbag people pay tens of thousands of dollars for and wait months or even years to buy, thanks to Hermès' mastery of artificial scarcity — and taking a chainsaw to the flaming remains, has apparently been getting some mean @replies on Twitter (and a commenter on this very site called her "a horrible human being"). Some people are really upset, either by the wasteful destruction of a beautiful object of value, by Eastwood and Shields' nose-in-the-air, you-don't-understand-my-art attitudes, or both. Shields talked to ArtInfo to give his side of the story.
Shields is a Los Angeles-based photographer best known for his pictures of Glee's Heather Morris made up to look like an abused housewife. (Domestic violence organizations protested.) Shields also shot Lindsay Lohan covered in fake blood, Hayden Panettiere sucking on the barrel of a machine gun, and Mischa Barton gnawing sexily on raw meat. The formula seems to be: C-list starlet, oral fixation, passing familiarity with the oeuvre of Terry Richardson, DSLR. Bullett calls Shields' work "bloody, expensive-looking, yet unconvincing."