Yair Garbuz was born in Givatayim, Israel. In 1962-1967, while a member of Kibbutz Kfar HaHoresh, he studied painting under Raffi Lavie. He also attended the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv. Since his debut in 1967, Garbuz's work has been exhibited in dozens of one-man shows and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad.
In 1973-2009, Garbuz taught at Hamidrasha, the art school of Beit Berl Teachers Training College, which he directed from 1997. He has also taught at the Avni Institute, Tel-Hai College, and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.