Tyler Shields Comments on MOCAJacksonville Flap

December 8, 2014 4 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Tyler Shields, arguably the most successful photo artist to come from Jacksonville (see books, film, reality shows, and google away) weighs in on Clay Yarborough and what will hold Jacksonville's artists back. Praises Mayor Alvin Brown and advocates support for the Museum of Contemporary Art.



After reading an article in my home town Folio weekly about a city council men named Clay Yarborough walking into the Moca and seeing something he did not like and demeaning all funding be pulled from the museum and the art be destroyed I realized something.

Clay Yarborough is a brat with small child thinking syndrome. I was recently with a 7 year old (photo down below) who does not act with such childish disdain for humanity..

I want to start by saying something: I make my living from selling art.

I take the photographs and they go to galleries and people buy them.

Every so often I do a book or a movie and from that I am able to feed an army full of people.

My assistant is my best friend whom we grew up together in Jacksonville skating at Kona skatepark.

I buy Woody's BBQ sauce online and have it shipped to me, all that being said-- I am fine. This doesn’t effect me.

What it does effect is the ever growing population of artists out there who work everyday creating and taking photos trying to get to the level of making a living from it.

People like Mr. Yarborough are trying to take food out of those artists mouths.

How dare he demand funding to be cut? How dare he label art as pornography?

It's this childish thinking that will cripple you and your city.

Now as an artist i know Mr. Yarborough is entitled to his opinion as is every person on this planet.

You don’t have to like the photograph you don’t have to like any photograph, but as an elected official you are abusing your power and your city won’t stand for it.

If MOCAJacksonville needs me, I am there, I would like to donate something to the museum.

I would also like to praise the wonderful mayor Alvin Brown for standing his ground.

 I say this to Mr. Yarborough and this is what I say to anyone who doesn’t like my work “If you don’t like it don’t look at no one is forcing you”

My hope from all this nonsense is that the city comes together and supports the MOCA.

Signed Tyler Shields