Hayden Kays is a London and Margate-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 characterised by bold imagery, often drawn from popular culture and art history, acerbic word-play, traditional craftsmanship and deadpan humour. Using everyday references and wry 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 natural 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 such as contemporary art bad boy and original YBA Jake Chapman.
His work is held in the private collections of such luminaries as Harry Styles, Jude Law and Noel Fielding enjoying international exposure from platinum-selling band The Kooks, who used Kays’ work ‘Sending My Heart’ as the cover artwork for their latest album.
Recent exhibitions that have enjoyed critical and commercial success alike include The Hot 100 (2013), This is Not a Bomb (2014), The Top Ten (2015) and Overdrawn (2016) calling at London, Paris and Dubai in the process.
As part of his continued commitment to charitable causes, Kays was honoured to exhibit his twist on the classic design of a Stormtrooper helmet in Art Wars at the Saatchi Gallery during Frieze London, alongside celebrated artists including Damien Hirst, David Bailey and Yinka Shonibare, MBE.
Kays has been guest editor of the Arts & Culture pages of Hunger magazine and has recently featured on the cover of The Financial Times Wealth supplement, Spectator Magazine, Private Eye and AFTERNYNE. His work hangs alongside Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake on the walls of The Groucho Club London as part of their renowned permanent collection. He recently designed the logo for Help Refugees charity, which has seen it emblazoned on T-shirts across the world.