Hayden Kays: Money Talks

18.03.2016 | Art | BY:

British artist Hayden Kays is about to hold his first solo exhibition of 2016 – Overdrawn – which will take place at Exposure London and opens on 7th April.

By now, Kays is someone that needs little introduction. Not only are Banksy and Jake Chapman fans, but he counts many high profile collectors – Harry Styles, Jude Law, Douglas Booth – among his clients. He was also asked to take part in Art Wars at the Saatchi Gallery during Frieze London 2015, alongside the likes of David Bailey, Damien Hirst and Yinka Shonibare, MBE.

The work of Hayden Kays frequently offers a superbly wry take on the many failings of society, and highlights every day absurdities that we have all become disturbingly numb to. However, it can also be profoundly touching, and sentimental without falling into the territory of trite, as was shown with 2013’s The Hot 100 collection.

This latest series, Overdrawn, is a deliciously sardonic take on both the political and the popular, and features a range of uncirculated one dollar bills which have been overlaid with vivid inkjet prints – a selection of which can be seen here. And, according to Kays himself: money itself is art, since every note is a drawing and every coin a sculpture. Overdrawn is said to offer Kays’ characteristically “acute observations on our fragile and yet compulsive relationship with consumerism and mass culture”.

Here, we discover a little more from the artist himself.

Firstly, where did the idea for this latest exhibition come from? Was it a gradual process or a sudden thought? If the latter, what spurred it?
I’ve been doing the signed notes for a while now so I’ve had notes around me while I’ve been working. I’m constantly seeking to consume as many images as I can, so have been looking at loads of medical books and obviously using Google. It struck me that new meaning could be given to both images with the simple act of combination.


‘You Can’t Eat Money’ by Hayden Kays

Do you like money? Do you see it as a need or a want?
I don’t dislike money. I dislike not having enough. I need and want it. I simply can’t build the art I construct in my mind with money.

Do you think it can bring happiness?
Ask me again when I’ve got some.


‘Money Makes The War Go Round’ by Hayden Kays

Isn’t it a crime to deface money?
Money is used for far more criminal acts than me using it for my Art.

Do you like shocking people?
I genuinely believe I’ve never made a truly shocking image. Everything vaguely shocking I’ve ever made has also contained love, humour. A dead four-year-old boy face down in the sand being scooped up like dog shit littered accross the internet and frontpages is shocking to me.

Is it easy to shock you?
I’m shocked everyday. The world is thoroughly insane. The collective memory is terrifyingly short.


‘You Can’t Sit With Us’ by Hayden Kays

I know comparisons are annoying, but if you had to be compared to someone, who would you like it to be?
Mr Muscle. I’ve heard he loves the jobs you hate. An admirable attitude to have in life.

Who is exciting you among your peers right now?
Far too many to mention. I think now is a great time, everything is quicker, everything is easier, everything is now. You can do more. I feel obliged to take advantage of this.


‘Building Walls And Burning Bridges’ by Hayden Kays

Is there anyone that you wouldn’t want owning any of your work?
I was talking about just this the other day with my sister. We spoke about the strangeness of spending time making something and then often having no idea where it ends up living. I’ve got alot of wonderful collectors that I admire very much, so it’s inevitable that they’ll be some I’m not so fond of.


‘Oil Wells Don’t End Well’ by Hayden Kays

Your work frequently uses humour to brilliant effect, what makes you laugh?
I have a very broad sense of humour, everything makes me laugh. It diminishing as I age is a great fear of mine.

This is your first solo show for 2016 – how would you sum up the year so far in a sentence?
I’ve spent far too much time thinking about money.

Overdrawn opens at 7pm on 7th April, at Exposure London; 22-23 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BU

Main image: ‘Pills And Thrills & Dollar Bills’ by Hayden Kays


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17.07.2012 | Blog | BY:

Ever since construction commenced on the 2012 Olympic village, the world’s eyes have been transfixed on East London; an area which renowned photographer, David Bailey, however has been observing and documenting his whole life.

A genuine East-ender through and through, Bailey expresses his admiration and love for his homeland by centring his latest retrospective on the area and its people. The exhibition entitled David Bailey’s East End, displays an edited collection of work from his impressive fifty-year archive with a specific focus on three decades; the Sixties, Eighties and the present.

Early candid shots depict scenes of children playing, women shopping and men drinking (very much the stereotypical roles of a working class Britain,) whilst other images focus purely on the past environment of places such as Bricklane, Whitechapel and Canning Town, largely representing the deprivation, dereliction and decay of East London during this period. Interestingly, assembled scaffolding boards and poles act as the wall mount for this display; perhaps as a reference to the most recent regeneration.

A hint of the glamour most commonly associated with Bailey’s fashion photographs only begins to emerge in the Eighties series with a number of images capturing his wife and famous fashion model, Catherine, elegantly posing next to the Royal Docks (the very location which the exhibition itself takes place). The placement of these alluring shots are cleverly contrasted against panoramas portraying towering steel cranes, dilapidated warehouses and sullied factory sites accentuating the once vast unsightly industrialism of the East London cityscape.

From Sixties Cockney boozers to the streetscapes of present today, this display is photojournalism at its best, effectively documenting the altering physical and social landscapes of East London over the past fifty years.

David Bailey’s East End is on now until 5 August at Create London, Compressor House, Royal Docks, London.

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The Duffy Diaries

27.03.2012 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

From portraits to reportage and award-winning advertisements to Pirelli calendars, the images of Brian Duffy are an iconic documentation of decades past. Now the Proud Chelsea gallery is making a tribute to the photography legend, who passed away in 2010, by displaying a rare collection of his signed prints.

Starting his career in the Fifties as a freelance photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, Duffy went on to photograph the likes of Jean Shrimpton, John Lennon and David Bowie, most memorably for the cover of his Aladdin Sane album.

Duffy, alongside David Bailey and Terence Donovan – nicknamed the Terrible Trio by British press – innovated the style of documentary fashion photography by capturing the zeitgeist of Swinging London in the Sixties.

After making the decision to abandon still photography, the English photographer and film producer famously attempted to burn all of his negatives in 1979. Fortunately, a few priceless artifacts remain, making this exhibition both a poignant photographic homage and an unmissable visual experience.

Duffy: The Lost Portraits is on display until May 13 at Proud Chelsea, 161 King”s Road  London SW3 5XP.































































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