Photographer Tyler Shields tackles race and media in “Historical Fiction”

lynchingPhotographer Tyler Shields doesn’t claim to be making big political statements, but his recent series Historical Fiction puts America’s Civil Rights era in bright bold color.

The photos explore dark moments in history, including the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Martin Luther King Jr., with many of them honing in on moments that confront the country’s racist past.

Shields has taken heat in the past for some provocative photos of Hollywood starlets. His new exhibit opens to the public today at the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Santa Monica. He talked to KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis about the message he’s trying to convey.

Martin-Luther-King

King-shot-to-death-in-Memphis

American-Flag

Marylin Monroe Found Dead

The-Beatles-Break-up

The-death-of-James-Dean

John-F.-Kennedy's-Toe-tag

Historical Fiction is on display May 19-June 30 at the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Santa Monica.