Rom Yaari was born in Los Angeles, California in 1956. Yaari, a child prodigy began to exhibit his art at the early age of 12. Brought up in Israel, Spain, England and the US, he is considered one of the most prolific international artists between the mid 1960s and the present, beginning his training in 1966 by serving as an apprentice in many artist studios around the world.
Between 1966 and 1980 Yaari continued to live and paint in Los Angeles, Sonoma California, London , Spain, New York, Mexico, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Santa Fee, Hamptons. He travel every year, to his different studios, painting, designing, producing and directing and donating time and art to charities.
Yaari’s art covers many areas such as, photography, film making, wearable art and theater art and has influenced the interior design, wearable art, jewelry, textile and entertainment industries worldwide. His collectors vary from art dealers, museums, celebrities, dignitaries, and the art buying public. Yaari is considered by many as the worlds most famous and appreciated body-painting artist and is regularly invited to body paint at performances, events and festivals worldwide.
Yaari’s wearable art collections have been available worldwide since the early 70’s although he began to design costumes as a child inspired by his father's theatre and encouraged by his mother. In 1982 Yaari’s fashions, clothing and accessories, were accepted into stores like Sax 5th Avenue, Bendells, May Company, Bullocks, Nordstrums and over 500 boutiques worldwide. He has worked in collaboration with Richard Tyler, Versace, Dongeya, Fortuni Fabrics, Bebe’s, Regal International, Mark Richard’s collections, Arie Levine, and many others. Yaari was the first artist to produce all-over digital print collections back in the 80’s. Sponsored by Dupont, BMT, and world wide print, his digital collections have won first prize in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Israel, Hong Kong and New York.
1980 - 1984 - Mauii Hawai
The Age Gallery was founded in Mauii, Hawai by Yaari and his partners Viviana Sanchez and Sammy Campesi. It was one of Hawaii's most successful galleries at the time, producing innovative design in wearable art, fine art and theater art. Living high up on the mountain, where he had his main studio in Hawaii on the Age of Holyacalou crater, his first daughter was born and delivered by Yaari himself. He says, "This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life... the joke is that I cooked chicken soup for 50 people that weren't coming.
In 1985 Yaari journeyed to Israel for an exhibition at the Horst Richter Gallery where he was commissioned to design a Club and Restaurant and continued to design his art-to-wear collection. Returning to Los Angeles, via London, Paris and Spain, he opened the Yaari Gallery in Venice Beach, California on the corner of Westminster and Speedway. For the opening he hired hundreds of street performers closing an entire block, creating one of Los Angeles' most amazing and memorable fashion and art shows. The Los Angeles Times said " Yaari is in fact, one the most original and unique artists ever born in the city of Los Angeles".
In 1986 Yaari traveled to Bellingham, Washington to teach and open Yaari’s First Art Center.
In 1987 Yaari worked on the World's Fair and then in 1988 was commissioned to design Penny Lane, the first Beatles themed restaurant, using Yaari sculpture and Frescos located on Robson Street, in Vancouver, Canada.
Penny Lane Restaurant, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1989 - 1992
Yaari painting in his Mexico studio 1992 in Cabo San Lucas. The painting was sold to the collection of Madam VerraYaari retuned to L.A. in 1989 to re-open Yaari Gallery sponsored by Rocco Kawasaki and Sky Johns. The gallery opened on Main Street in Santa Monica. In 1990 Yaari was offered to open another gallery, the Yaari Gallery On San Francisco Street in Santa Fe New Mexico. He then opened a second gallery in Santa Fe and built his Art Studio. Continuing to operate both galleries, he began to exhibit other artists works. In 1991 Yaari was offered an exhibition at the Terrasol in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here he met his fourth wife, Maria Rivera, and opened up his own gallery in Toto Santos, just north of Cabo San Lucas. Here, along with other artists, he also founded the Toto Santo Art Festival. In 1992 Yaari was invited to show in San Miguel Dayande at the Dalia gallery.
1993 saw Yaari returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he opened the Red Dragon Fine Art Gallery. The end of 1993 saw Yaari invited by the Costa Rican Government Minister of Culture to create Costa Rica's largest outdoor public fresco which was painted with 600 school children and sponsored by local TV and radio, the fire department, Hotel California and many others. He was then commissioned by the Costa Rican Government to work to improve the look and management of the gambling and tourism industry. One Casino was redone as an example in Flamingo Beach, Juan Acaste called the Emberes Club the first Casino to be licensed in Costa Rica where the entire club was redesigned and renovated.
1994 - 1996 - New York
In 1994 he returned to Santa Fe and continued painting and exhibiting until 1996 when he was offered the opportunity to open his gallery in Amagansett, East Hampton, Long Island, New York with sponsorship from Quana Parker and his wife Sharon. Yaari was also sponsored by Miha Popa Nova Noa at the Ark project East Hampton. Here he began work on his first documentary and TV show which he wrote, directed produced and announced. Titled "Hidden Eccentrics", Yaari interviewed artists over the age of 50. Some segments were shown on LTV a public television station. Dan's paper wrote several articles about the Yaari project in the Hamptons where he founded his children's program called Art Hamptons. Yaari also contributed to the Atlanta Olympics and showed at Boom Bistro and World Pie where he body painted and exhibited his paintings. Exhibiting at many world famous restaurants Yaari's art continued to be in demand by many notable celebrities and dignitaries.
In 1997 Yaari delegated his US operation and married his fifth wife Wendy Louis Brown, moving with her soon after to Melbourne Australia. In Melbourne Yaari was asked to enter the Raymond Weil body painting competition supporting AIDS research and winning 1st prize in front of Melbourne's Victorian Museum.This earned Yaari his place in the art world of Australia. He was then asked to exhibit at both the "I Am" art gallery and the Brighton Gallery. Here he met the producers of Channel 31, a public television station, where he was asked to co-write, produce and announce the Shalom TV segment, covering many subjects including the Guinness Book of World Record's competition for tree planting, the premier of Fiddler on the Roof and the opening of Habbad house.
Yaari’s 2nd exhibition in the I Am Art Gallery
Yaari’s 2nd exhibition in the I Am Art Gallery Painted for the Hallodom Exhibition
Painted for the Hallodom Exhibition - Gem and Mineral Show
He then was commissioned by Visi International and Ramler Furniture to be the Art Director of the Celebrity Art Auction in support of the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Games.
2000 Paralympic Games, Sydney, Australia
Later in 2000 Yaari returned to the USA where he took charge of Yaari Productions and continued to paint and design his Digital Fashion collection IFBYY.com. He participated until 2004 at the Burning Man Festival where he painted over 3000 people and created, in collaboration with Lane Lawry and others, the 3D boat.
At the end of 2004 Yaari was asked to design in Asia. Always dreaming of living in Asia he quickly delegated his US operation to his long time agent Bertram McCann and moved to Bali, the "Island of the Gods", in the Indonesian Archipelago.
He recenly was given the honor of being the first body painter ever to be endorced by the MDA goverment body in Singapore. This caused great contoversy and people were asked in the subsequent debate whether a body-painted person was naked or not. 75% of those surveyed said "not naked" and 25% said "naked", reflecting that many more people are pro-freedom of expresion than not.
Yaari fashion show's in Singapore were sponsored by Elite Modeling Agency and the Indoshien Restaurant Corporation. Since yaari moved to Bali he founded, with Ni Made Toya and Mark Tuck, the Yaari Toya Studio Bali. They also founded Art Quest and the Yaari Toya Center for the Arts dedicated to higer education and public awarenes programs. For more information go to Yaari Toya Center
Causes & Donations
Throughout Yaari’s life he has generously contributed to charities world wide. The latest project is the new "Yaari Toya Center for the Arts" supporting charities worldwide and the insuring integrity in their activities. As well as having its own inhouse design team, the new centre combines galleries for art, handycrafft and home furnishings, textilles, and art to wear. There are also education programs focusing on land conservation, recycling water and waste management, art education seminars and conferences.