French, b. 1946, Cairo, Egypt I based in Nice, France
Originally from Egypt, Yves Hayat first developed his aesthetic sensibilities living in a country enriched with history and cultural diversity. Art was his first love. In 1956, after the Egyptian Revolution, Hayat left for France. For five years, he studied Art at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs of Nice.
In 1973, Hayat chooses to go into advertising and marketing, which led him to open his own agency. The creative trade captivated Hayat. His experience in the field also enabled him to discover and learn to use new forms of technology, and master his techniques. In the 1990s, equipped with those skills, he decided to return to art, rediscovering the old masters, photographing people, the streets, society products, museum paintings and recuperating magazine and web images, which are carefully classified. Hayat is a perfect example of his time: an open mind on society, its streets, its media, its internet. While running his successful advertising business, he starts to show his artwork in galleries. Soon, his art practice took precedence over his profession, which he ended in 2002.
Although Yves Hayat does not consider himself a painter, photographer, or designer, he is widely known as a “plasticien,” an untranslatable French term that refers to an artist who puts the meaning of his work to the fore and uses all the various media and techniques to express it.
As François Birembaux wrote, Yves Hayat belongs to that category of remarkable artists who have something to say, and who say it with such talent that they stamp their impression on the art of our time. His works, modern and contemporary, are however, the product of a deeply classical culture. Thanks to all the techniques which belong to our time: photography, superimposition of images, etc., he creates an original work rooted in the human cultural heritage but which, through the strength of its subjects, conveys every dimension of our era.
Through a strictly artistic approach, Yves Hayat expresses a philosophical thought, not in complicated words but by speaking to our senses, in a clear, untortured way. He presents the essence of our human condition and of our time, bringing out its distinctive characteristics and its violence (…)
The originality of Yves Hayat’s works lies in the amalgam of artistic perception with images from a communication and information-based society. The titles he gives to his works (Business must go on, Parfum de Révolte, The Icons are Tired, Femmes au bord de la crise de guerre, The Shadow of your smile…) from utterly highjacked advertising slogans, have the effect of giving a meaning to the pollution of our everyday lives. They reveal our identity and display our own brand. Not a celebration of barbarity, but rather the fascination created by human ambivalence (…).