Hermes Birkin Lit Aflame
Recently the daughter of Clint Eastwood’s significant other, Tyler Shields, lit a Hermes Birkin bag on fire for the sake of art. The Birkin was made of crocodile and was a glossy red, retail cost, $100,000.00. The couple have since been getting death threats and hate mail because of the wastefulness of the project stating “Do you realize how many animals you could have saved in a shelter for what you did? How many families could be fed? This isn’t art, this is a narcisstic show of your own excesses. If you have a Birken that you can destroy then you are not living in the real world. Both of you need to grow up. By the way, your photography of this shot was mediochre as well.” and even more disturbing was the comment from Tstillz “wow you are complete f@cking @sshats. burn in hell. not art at all. just you flaunting your money around that you havent earned ever..in your life. kill yourselves now”
It is comments like these that have blown this story out of proportion and into the news. Many of the comments on Shields website argue that the images shot by Tyler are “sub standard”while others go on to argue whether it should be considered art at all. But the main argument is that the project seems wasteful and is nothing more than a rich person flexing the muscle of his bank account. The upset is on the heels of the Occupy movement and brings about feelings of anger and revolt from individuals with lower income and who are struggling to put food on their tables.
What is interesting is that many people argue that Tyler in fact fights for equality through the controversial images by displaying his detest for the extravagant object. The Hermes Birkin is the most expensive handbag on the market and is still a best seller with a waiting list that goes on for months. The object that was destroyed maliciously was not just any Birkin, it was a brand new red crocodile Birkin that is one of the more expensive Hermes handbags which relays the point that frivolity and overly expensive handbags are a travesty and should be expunged.
On the other hand he writes “Destruction is a beautiful version of freedom…” as a caption to the series of photographs so perhaps there is an alternate meaning? Obviously Francesca Eastwood stands by her man and believes in his vision as she is the lovely young woman in the photographs.
Recently Tyler has agreed to give $100,000.00 to one family in need if his photos sell at his upcoming art show. He has also released this statement in response to the overwhelming negativity that he has incurred over this art project:
“I think if people are [upset] because I spent money on a photo shoot, then they should be upset about every single photo shoot that takes place ever. A $100,000 photo shoot, actually — Paris Hilton spent $200,000 on her album cover. The catering budget for the movie “John Carter” was $5 million. It takes money to make art. People spend money to make their work. If I was operating a McDonald’s, would people be upset because I bought inventory? How many people buy sports cars? How many people buy watches? What if I bought a $100,000 car and I crashed it? I’m not taking anything away from anybody else. That’s the thing, somebody wrote me an email, and she was very upset, and she was like, “How could you do this? You should have given that money to me.
I was very poor just like six years ago, I had $11 and nobody gave me any money. Nobody just handed me anything. I had to fight for it. I had to work to get what I have. That’s the thing about the country that we live in. You can dream anything you want, and if you’re willing to work hard enough, you can get it.
I support a lot of people. I help a lot of charities. I do a lot of things and when people want to attack me like that, it’s laughable.”
How do you feel about these images? Is it art? What do you think the overall message is?