Bendel Hydes was born in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. After completing a foundation year in art at Liverpool College of Art, Hydes embarked upon a degree course at Canterbury College of Art in England. In pursuit of a more intellectual approach to art and ideas, he transferred to Clark University in the United States, where his studies broadened to encompass international relations and philosophy. Hydes received his B.A. in 1976.

Hydes has mounted solo exhibitions at venues including the Commonwealth Institute, London; the 23rd International Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions internationally, including the 30th International Festival of Painting at the Museum of Cagnes-sur-Mer, France; as well as Caribbean Visions: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, the most acclaimed survey of Caribbean art ever assembled. Originating at the Center for African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the exhibition traveled to eight United States museums, concluding at the Latin American Art Museum in Long Beach, California.

Works by Hydes are held in the collections of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Island National Archive, and UBS (Cayman Islands), as well as numerous private collections internationally, including that of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Hydes is featured in ‘Caribbean Art,’ a history of Caribbean painting, published by Thames & Hudson, London, and in ‘He Hath Founded it Upon the Seas: A History of the Cayman Islands and Its People.’ He is a Co-Founder of the Cayman Islands National Gallery and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. In 2004 Hydes was made Cultural Attache to the United States.

Hydes has lived and worked in New York City since 1982.