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The Collection at Bobby

by Tinney Contemporary

Bobby has always been more than just a hotel. Centered in Nashville’s downtown “Arts District,” it only makes sense to add some conversation to these wood-paneled walls. 

In partnership with Tinney Contemporary, Nashville’s premier art gallery, Bobby is hosting The Collection at Bobby, a quarterly rotating art exhibition featuring local, regional, and national contemporary artists around collected themes and conversations.

When at Bobby, you’re free to explore every corner, and if you’d like a guided walk accompanied with a little “hair of the dog,” give us a call. 

All pieces are available for purchase. To inquire, please email: thecollection@bobbyhotel.com


Tyler Shields creates lush, brilliantly imagined, often-erotic images that easily traverse a hypersaturated media landscape. While his photographs share a common visual syntax with the world of fashion and luxury advertising, there’s an intensity to the work that creates dissonance–the images are crisp and controlled, but there’s an explicit edge, a sense of acceleration, cathartic release, spontaneous-combustion.

The artist’s partner and key collaborator, Allie Evans, frequently appears as the female protagonist in Shields’ works. The photographs themselves vary in content from luxury drugs and sexually charged gestures to a $15,000 Louis Vuitton chest engulfed in flame. The artifice inherent in the images’ varied constructions–highly staged moments, often framed against the negative space of a studio backdrop–lends the exhibition an abstract dreaminess. Rather than generating desire towards some external commodity or lifestyle (as with advertising), each image is an articulation of desire itself.

Shields’ work is a revitalization of Warhol’s insistence that “everybody must have a fantasy.” The exhibition is an invitation: Shields has gone beyond mere imagination, adeptly conjuring his own fantasies, rendering daydreams in pristine photographic prints, and enticing the viewer to indulge.


Meet Tyler Shields

Tyler Shields. “Considered the Andy Warhol of his generation, Shields has produced images that play with notions of the gaze, power structures, hyper-realism, iconoclastic-tendencies and cinematographic practice, but his Mouthful series of works are among his best known” – Sotheby’s

 

Tyler Shields has made a name for himself as one of the most celebrated fine art photographers. But before the world knew Shields as the photo provacatuer that he is today, he seemingly lived a life as complex and diverse as his pictures. As a child growing up in Jacksonville Florida Shields became a professional in-line skater and went on to compete in the x games and win the world championship.

At an early age Shields became custom to success and the unwavering dedication that it takes to be the best. So it should come as no surprise that shortly after starting his photography career Shields became the youngest living artist to be in auction at Sotheby’s. Countless auctions later Sotheby’s demed him “the Andy Warhol of his generation.” Stating that “Shields has produced images that play with notions of the gaze, power structures, hyper-realism, iconoclastic-tendencies and cinematographic practice”.

He has galleries with record breaking attendance across the globe and his limited addition prints are some of the most sought after images in the world, with a total of just 3 images ever made in each of his Available sizes. Name a celebrity and Shields has probably shot them; from Hollywood legends like Bruce Willis to industry titans like Elon musk and everyone in between. His earliest work broke the internet with images featuring Lindsey Lohan running wild through LA, Emma Roberts jumping off of buildings and countless other young A-list stars doing what every magazine told him could not be done.

At the start of his career Shields was turned away by every magazine in publication all of which told him that there was no way a celebrity would ever shoot outside of a studio and that his lavish stunts broadcasted across every website meant nothing because and I quote “the internet was never going to replace magazines”. Today the very same magazines would need a miracle to find a time where Tyler was available for a commission with his constant revolving door of galleries. Galleries with the very images he was told would be “impossible” to take.

Once you witness him in action behind the lens there are few words that can describe what shooting with Tyler Shields is like. Shields has had his models run from planes flying feet over their heads, and holding $100,000 Burkins on fire next to their faces. Not to mention his image titled Lady And The Lion where Shields had me dangle a steak over a live lions mouth. The list of life threatening things we have done in the name of art is a mile long. But not once have I been scared when shooting with Tyler. He makes you feel like the impossible is always possible. Perhaps that’s why his best work is nothing short of magic. The shots shouldn’t exist. People shouldn’t want to be set on fire or climb naked up an electrical tower during a wind storm, but they do and they do so happily. In fact most people show up asking Shields to push them. Everyone is simply transfixed by his presence and are willing to do whatever needs to be done to bring his vision to life. Watching him work is when you get to see the real magic that is Shields. In a way he is both the photographer and the model. His vision is so clear that he will adjust you right down to your pinky finger before he takes a shot. He has perfected the art of making anyone and everyone feel comfortable in front of the lens and understood by the images he captures.

Now well into his career Shields still has a never ending list of images stored in his mind just waiting to be captured and he plans to do just that for the rest of his life. Constantly pushing the envelope and the concept of what can be done with a man and his camera.

-Allie Evans


The Faces Behind Tinney Contemporary

Susan Tinney, owner of Tinney Contemporary, got her start in the art world in a circuitous way. Having been raised around artists and creative people, she naturally gravitated in that direction. However, her love of all things science drove her toward a career in the Biotech industry, where she enjoyed a long and interesting path. With one foot in science but her heart in the art world, Susan began holding pop-up art exhibits, where she made a name for herself in Nashville’s growing art scene.

When a visionary developer floated the idea of anchoring the newly renovated historic Kress Building with an art gallery, Susan decided it was time to make a concrete investment in her passion and purchased the ground floor to start a gallery. Tinney Contemporary opened their doors to the public in August 2006. Tinney and two former galleries started the Downtown First Saturday Art Crawl on Tinney Contemporary’s opening night, where, according to Susan, approximately 160 art crawls have been held to date.

Joshua Edward Bennett is a fine artist, a designer, a musician, a husband, and a father. He received his MFA from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, in 2019 with a concentration in digital arts and his BFA in painting and drawing in 2006 at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, TN.

At Tinney Contemporary, Joshua utilizes his extensive experience in the art world by managing the operation and curating exhibitions for the gallery. Additionally, he brings his unique curatorial perspective to the program The Collection at Bobby. Since moving to Nashville from New Orleans in 2020, Joshua has enjoyed hiking, camping, and spending more time with family and friends in Tennessee.


Past Collections

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