Bendel Hydes was born in West Bay, Grand Cayman in 1952. He later left his hometown to pursue his love of art. Hydes travelled to England where he completed his Foundation year in Art and gained his degree at the Liverpool and Canterbury Colleges of Art. In 1976, whilst in his final year of his degree, Bendel Hydes decided to transfer to Clark University, Massachusetts.
This was in order to obtain his BA in International Relations Philosophy. He wanted to explore the ideas of art and creativity rather than the actual practice of art. Having completed his studies, Bendel Hydes moved back to the Cayman Islands.
In 1982, Bendel Hydes returned to the US, where he has lived ever since. He continued to work and adapt his art form, and states that he was influenced by the German Expressionist art movement. This movement was about communicating the artists feelings and mood by using a variety of unnatural shapes and colours. Hydes is known for using thin layers of paint, one on top of the other to build up his paintings. He begins each canvas with an open mind and doesn’t necessarily know or focus on what he wants the end result to be.
As one of the Cayman Islands central influences in art, Hydes has exhibited at a number of international locations. These include but are not limited to: New York, London, Washington, Brazil and France. His works are also held in collections at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, of which he is the co-founder. Hydes is also the co-founder of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. Bendel Hydes work was part of the ‘Caribbean Visions: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture’ exhibit, which is the most acclaimed survey of Caribbean art ever assembled. The Collection travelled to 8 US museums. There are also a number of private collectors who have pieces of Hydes work, including HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
A man who is truly dedicated to his passion, Bendel Hydes was made ‘Cultural Attache’ in the US in 2004. As a result, Hydes is responsible for promoting the culture of his homeland and also to enhance the cultural relation between the Cayman Islands and the US where he resides. Bendel Hydes is very interested in Philosophy and why individuals and cultural groups behave in the ways that they do. He enjoys discovering how he can portray and communicate his findings through art. One of his most well-known exhibits, ‘Circumnavigating the Globe’ is a series of 12 large paintings which together depict an imaginary journey around the world, one canvas for each 30 degrees of longitude. The collection was inspired by the long journeys the elder Caymanian sailors used to make. A truly incredible and thought-provoking collection, each painting having the ability to stand alone as a finished work of art but also to be admired in the context of the other works in the series. Bendel Hydes, one of the Cayman Islands most distinguished artists, Caribbean1st absolutely salutes you.