Tyler Hays (b. 1968) is a painter and sculptor, born and raised in rural Northeastern Oregon. He received his BFA in painting at the University of Oregon in 1994.
Tyler started his career out of college with solo shows at the Mark Wooley gallery in the mid 90s and moved to New York City in 1994. He has worked creatively and professionally in a plethora of mediums – music, ceramics, fashion, architecture, furniture, etc. Tyler is known for his work as the founder, designer and engineer behind the enigmatic company BDDW.
“When I moved to New York at 26 I was selling work and living off of it, just barely. I didn’t like the complications of needing to make art to eat. I started BDDW so I could afford to paint without the pressure. I was really just a dirtbag Brooklyn artist handyman with a table saw and a couple of buddies. I had no idea of the journey I had embarked on. I did not know I had that all inside of me. I have often found building a business with its complicated heart-wrenching shifts and stages afloat on a stormy sea of economy, emotion, culture, and community to be much more of a creative outlet than painting or the design of the products. In the end though, BDDW has allowed me to paint and not eat from my paintings. To afford me a studio (though they have had to move many times to make room for my furniture business). I would definitely have made a lot more paintings had I stuck with kitchen cabinets, but I get to look at and create mountains of inspiring stuff every day. I need a lot of varied projects to empty myself out creatively. My favorite days though are still in the studio making paintings.”
Tyler lives and works in Philadelphia with his children and wife, painter Jen Wink Hays.