O. The Author
Tyler Shields is an author of many contemporary art photos. He is mostly known for his really controversial style of photography regarding topics such as sex, violence, drug addiction or money. His probably most controversial photo featured in a lot of foreign media is a photo of an alligator eating a Hermes Birkin bag worth around $100,000. His art is mostly known for his talent to point out contemporary social issues in an interesting and catchy way.
There is a woman body without arms and head in a completely white kitchen with an open oven. The woman wears black stockings and red high heels and she is half in the oven.
II. Cultural interpretation
One of the most important symbols in this picture are the red high heels. High heels are nowadays in our culture perceived as a symbol of a woman. The red color is strong for our subconsciousness and it reminds us feelings like love, desire and passion. The stockings emphasize even more sexuality of the image. Another important symbol is the place where the woman is — in a kitchen.
III. The image as a part of cultural complex
The author made the image this way to demonstrate that today’s culture (or some cultures) perceive women only as objects of making food in a kitchen and having sex with their husbands in beds. It has been a long time this way and it have become a stereotypical thinking for some men. The image should show how wicked and perverted this kind of thinking is and should open eyes to those who still think this way.
There is no eye contact in this photo. Thanks to that fact, we as observers do not feel any particular connection to the woman in the photo. We are put into position where we just observe and judge what is going on in the photo.
Straight view (equality). I do not think that our position in this photo plays any important role. View from the bird’s perspective would not change anything for example.
Middle distance (familiarity). Middle distance in this photo allows us to see what is really happening there. If we were closer, we would not see the whole body and we would not get the context of the photo. If we were farther, we would see just more of the kitchen which is not something we should focus on in this photo.
Directions of examination
Right to left. I think that we start on the right side thanks to the red color of the woman’s high heels which naturally attract our attention thanks to the vibrant and bright color. After the heels we discover hers stockings and pretty long legs. Then we notice that the woman is actually naked and we start to realize the sexual context of the photo. When we are at the end of our way, on the left side of the photo, we see that the woman ended up half way in the oven and we start to thinking of the meaning of that (which is mentioned above).