Shay Kun is an Israeli-born New York-based artist. He earned his B.F.A. at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (1998), and went on to earn his M.F.A. from Goldsmiths College in London, England (2000). Kun has been showing extensively in the past several years nationally as well as on the international circuit, mainly across the U.S and Europe. The culmination of this process was the development of an acute awareness of his specific place in today’s visual culture--somewhere between the historical concept of fine art and the contemporary digital and electronic imagery so central to his generation’s experience. The current series of works are an infusion, a hybrid of absurdities. Drawing on the sublime in western culture, capturing the grandeur of nature while acquiring a 'new look'; they are transformed into a juxtaposition of nature and its human invaders, who appear in the guise of adventure seekers. The contrast between these characters and their stylized environment is an abrupt and offensively inadequate substitute of noble bearing that fills their place in painting of past centuries. Still, what these visitors leave are their traces; they have not overwhelmed the environment and its magical possibilities.
2000 MA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London, England 1998 BA in Fine Art, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel
Kun’s current series of works is a hybrid of absurdities, drawing on the sublime in western culture and capturing the grandeur of nature. “Take Off” focuses on hot air balloons as means for escape and escapism. “In this newest series of paintings from 2010, Kun has inversed the relationship between natural and artificial. There is no time/space continuum in the background but the foreground remains anchored in the literal world of the hot air balloon. As we drift into the atmosphere, would the earth look warped? The paintings also reference the paradigm shift brought about by Columbus and other explorers that the earth is actually round, not flat. But as we dig deeper into the archeology of knowledge, to borrow a phrase from post-modernity, we realize that Ptolemy the Greek geographer and mathematician of 150 C.E. amassed knowledge from the Alexandria library that the earth was in fact spherical. This knowledge came to be lost and in medieval times people thought the world was flat again. How did something that is a universal truth come to be lost during history? These paintings may describe the intellectual thought of when humans rediscovered the earth was flat. If they had risen in a hot air balloon high enough and looked down, they may have believed that the earth looked like one of the quadrants of these paintings. This relativity towards knowledge and time fashions Kun’s work. There are no absolute answers or truths. They are all just theories, some of which are better than others.
Selected Solo Exhibitions 2011 VOLTA NY ‘Take Off’, New York, NY 2010 Exfoliations, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY Overcast, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel Slack Tide, Lamontagne Gallery, Boston, MA 2009 Opportunities multiply as t