Hayden Kays is a London-based artist whose practice encompasses painting, sculpture and printmaking. He is widely described as one of the most provocative artists of his generation for his celebration and critique of the culture industry which demonstrates classically trained sensibilities mediated by thoroughly contemporary concerns.
Kays’ work is characterized by bold imagery, often drawn from popular culture and art history, acerbic word-play, traditional craftsmanship and deadpan humor. Using everyday references and pithy witticisms, his work relates to and subverts the canon of the Pop Artists of the 1950s and the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s.
Kays has been touted as the YBA’s heir for the street art generation, spearheading the evolution of the movement in the UK today. His hard-hitting messages, which blur the lines between capitalism and culture, human sensibility and the machine age, have caught the eye of patrons and supporters such as contemporary art bad boy Jake Chapman, who describes the artist’s practice as, “acerbic, witty, shallow and subversive… quite brilliant.”
His work is held in the private collections of such luminaries as Jake Chapman, James Birch, Harry Styles, Jude Law and The Groucho Club, and has enjoyed international exposure from the platinum-selling band The Kooks, who used Kays’ work ‘Sending My Heart’ as the cover artwork for their latest album.
Recent exhibitions include The Hot 100 (2013), This is Not a Bomb (2014) and The Top Ten (2015), which has enjoyed critical and commercial success on its ongoing global tour, having so far called in London, Paris and Dubai.
His latest exhibition, This Is Not A Brillo Box (2016) saw the second part of a collaboration between himself, Cob Gallery and Jealous Print Studio – presenting the latest manifestation of the Warhol inspired Brillo series.
THE ETERNAL DREAMER
As part of his tireless commitment to charitable causes, Kays has been honored to exhibit his gloriously witty take on the classic design of a Stormtrooper helmet in Art Wars at the Saatchi Gallery during Frieze London in 2013, alongside celebrated artists including David Bailey, Damien Hirst and Yinka Shonibare, MBE. ‘The Eternal Dreamer’ achieved £2,531 on Paddle8 with all proceeds going to Save The Children. His work ‘The Eternal Dreamer’ was made for the Disney BFGMovie Dream Jar Trail across London. Displayed at Victoria Embankment Gardens it was then sold via Paddle 8.
Kays has been guest editor of the Arts & Culture pages of Hunger magazine, has been featured in TIRADE, and had cover stories with both Stylist and the FT Wealth section. Most recently he interviews Sir Peter Blake at Waddington Custom Gallery in 360° technology.