Is an Israeli-born and 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.
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- ARTIST STATEMENT -
"My work deals with memory and perception.
The recurring theme of these raindrop paintings is the clarity of the water, the path the water has traveled to its location and the nostalgia such images invoke. Like a film noir still, this painting confront the viewer and bring forth memories from previous times. The fuzzy, off-center colors behind the window are just as we think they should be. As we drive along the interstate of our lives our memories grow hazier in the distance much like looking through the side windows of a moving car and only seeing colors without clear, definitive shapes. These images fade into the distance and while we may remember their general shape or color, they are no longer present and instead become part of our memory. How distorted our memory of these events are is what I am trying to capture. The reality as it happens—looking out of a window on a rainy day—is never remembered exactly as it was.
Even as memories fade or age, we transform this prior reality. Individually we take details and exaggerate them to fit our needs. Maybe we finished in third place in that race but it was the best race we ran and as such in its retelling we finished second because the other racer had a false start that the officials missed. We should have “been first”. We aspire to be first; we want our memories to make us first and in many cases it requires manipulating these past moments."
... an acute awareness of his specific place in today’s visual culture.
Shay Kun is somewhere between the historical concept of fine art and the contemporary digital and electronic imagery so central to his generation’s experience.
Multiple perspective are present in one single piece...
Shay Kun, born in Israel in 1974, is known for his hyper-surrealist style. The oeuvre of Kun’s art work is embodied in three series, Tear Drops, Lift Off (Hot Air Balloons), and Slums.
As an artist who is firmly averse to painting from the real-world, Shay’s central focus is to contrast the decay of the artificial with that of the natural to create an organic digital removal from the original image. The images that attract and inspire the artist have been deconstructed and reproduced thoroughly. When struck by an image that overwhelms Shay, it prompts him to explore and dissect it, with his interest in the mechanism of perception as opposed to the actual subject.
His inspiration comes from a variety of sources, from the hand carved hot air balloon toys that his parents, both of whom are Holocaust survivors, brought with them to Israel, to urban war photography, and the perceptions and alterations of reality in computer games, simulation and other disaster spectacles, all of which he reconciles with the strong influence of 18th century European artwork and the Hudson River School.
Shay’s acute awareness of his specific place in today’s visual culture, somewhere between the historical concept of fine art and the contemporary deconstruction of digital and electronic imagery as a central concept to his generation, places his work in juxtaposition with that of his parents.
As an artist, who began painting at the age of just three years old, and with both parents as commercial artists, he has often wondered if becoming an artist was a part of his DNA. Both of his parents’ work is aimed at forging something new while creating artwork that is distinctly Israeli. His father’s work focuses on the decay and deterioration of landscape, while in contrast, his mother’s paintings looks toward the celebratory aspect of landscape, growth and nature in bloom.
For Shay Kun a series is never complete. He revisits each subject as his interpretation of reality and our ability to comprehend the representational evolves.
Communication Breakdown, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Tower Brooke Headquarters, New York, NY
Slums, Expo Chicago solo, Chicago, IL
Revision, Aspen Art Gallery, Aspen, CO
Sum Of Its Parts, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Nature Does Not Know Extinction; All It Knows Is Transformation, D&F Contemporary, New York, NY
Disambiguation, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Uproar, Michael Schultz Gallery, Berlin,
An Extra, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Feast and Famine, Linda Warren Gallery,
Domestic Sticky Wildlife, Martine Chaisson Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Be First, Be Smarter or Cheat, Benrimon
Contemporary, New York, NY
Rebreather, Lamontagne Gallery, Boston, MA
Take Off, VOLTA NY, New York, NY
Exfoliations, Benrimon Contemporary, New York, NY
Overcast, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Slack Tide, Lamontagne Gallery, Boston, MA
Opportunities Multiply as They are Seized, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
Nails & Feathers, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
Old Flames Don’t Die Out They Build New Fires, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Perversion Is The Love We Feel When Others Feel Love, SEVENTEEN Gallery, London, UK
Melting Midlands, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
I Care Because You do Too, BUIA Gallery, New York, NY
2014 Rachel Lee Harris, "In Newark Airport Lounge, Israeli Art", New York Times, March 4th, 2014. 2013 Lisa Traiger, "Collector Donates Israeli Art to AU's Katzen center", Washington Jewish Week,
Sept 18th, 2013
Tomer Ganihar, “Pop surrealist Shay Kun says the Holocaust is in his DNA”, Haaretz Newspaper, February 6th, 2013
Shay Kun/ Linda Warren Projects, New Art City Chicago, Feb 2nd, 2013
2012 'Shay Kun Feast & Famine and Doug Fogelson: Potpourri', The Visualist Chicago, Dec 14th, 2012 Sapna Mthur, 'Natural Causes Have Surreal Effects', EMAHO Creative.Journalism ̧ Sept 13th, 2012 Amir Fallah, 'Shay Kun's Photo Realistic Dreamlike Paintings' , Beautiful/Decay Mag, Aug 31st, 2012 Katya Tylevich, ‘Holocaust Toys’, Elephant Magazine, Issue #11, Summer 2012
Charley Cameron, Pelican Bomb, “Last Call: Shay Kun at Martine Chaisson Gallery,” March 28th, 2012
Jarring Earth Invaders, Huffington Post, February 6, 2012 2011 Ryan Max, Rooms Magazine, Issue #7, December 2011
Cate McQuaid, “Making their concept accessible,” Boston Globe, December 20, 2011
Shane Ferro, “Expanding to Los Angeles, the Affordable Art Fair Hopes to Woo a New Pool of Budget- Conscious Buyers,” Artinfo.com, August 26, 2011
Martina Kaden, ‘Three Young Israelis Show Their Art.’ B.Z. Berlin newspaper, July 29, 2011
Ebony Bolt, Pulse Art Fair Event Review – Get the Latest Scoop on the NYC Fair, Splash Magazines, March 16, 2011
Leor Grady, ‘Masoret Avangard,’ Yedioth America, March 9, 2011
Little Red Riding Hood to the Fighter/On Our Radar, Huffington Post, February 6, 2011
Armory Week Daily Spotlight, Pulse NY, ARTLOG, February 17, 2011
2010 Saatchi Online, Shay Kun Featured at ‘The Law of The Jungle’ at Lehmann Maupin, December 7, 2010 Tara Kyle, DNAinfo, “Israeli Artist Puts New Twists on Hudson School,” September 29, 2010
Anthony Haden-Guest, The New York Observer, “Back in the New York Groove, The Author Comes Home and Finds the Art World Changed,” p.50-51, September 28, 2010
Daniel Zilberberg, Interview, “Checking In,” walla culture section, September 14, 2010 Eiseley Tauginas, Blackbook Magazine, “Industry Insiders,” August 2010
Kate McQuaid, Boston Globe, “Echoing and altering the landscape,” February 3, 2010 Critics Pick, ‘Slack Tide’ at Lamotagne Gallery, Boston Globe, 2010
2009 LoDown Magazine, October Issue no.168, Berlin, Germany 2009
Maznaim Magazine, September Issue no.4, Israel (cover back and front) 2009 Biscayne Times, Art Listings, Printed Edition, March 30th, 2009
2008 Brooks, Kimberly. "The Election and Art Swimming in My Head," The Huffington Post, November 3rd, 2008
Art Futures: The altruistic art fair, Art World Mag, Feb- March, Issue 3, p.11, 2008
Arts Council UK, “News: Artfutures - Own Art” , February 15th, 2008
2007 Meredith Etherington-Smith, “Letter from London”, Artinfo.com, January 26, 2007
Shay Kun At Seventeen, Artdaily.org, February 11, 2007
Beth Greenacre, Artrabbit.com, January 30th, 2007
John Stones. “American Dreams”, Design Week Magazine, January 11th, 2007
Tiffany Martini, “Subreality, A New View Of Pop Art”, The SF Examiner, April 3rd, 2007 Dana Gilerman, “A Free Developing Market”, Haaretz Newspaper, February 7th, 2007 Shay Kun at Seventeen, re-title.com, February 5th, 2007
John-Paul Pryor, “Shay Kun Chocolate’s Box Paintings”, Dazed Digital, February 1st, 2007 Jane Neal, Shay Kun: Saatchi Online Critic’s Choice, August 6th, 2007
Kende Gyorgy, “Exhibitions”, Uj Kelet Hungarian Weekly, December, 2007
Meni Peer, “Maga Shel Rahav”, BIG TIME Magazine, p.54, October 2007
Megan And Murray, “A Landscape Show At Samson Projects”, September , 2007
2006 Shay Kun, BA, MA, Cocksoft Art News, December 24th, 2006
Merrily Kerr/ Ruth Perez Chaves: Shay Kun, Recent Paintings 2006-2008 (Cat.) Mary Evangelista, “On Art”, Maariv Weekend Edition, 14 July, p. 10
Megan Voeller, ‘Lat Rites Of Summer’, Creative Loafing, 25 October, 2006
2005 Tochin Andrea, “Wandering”, NY Press, January, Volume 18 No.3, P.48, 2005.
Consulate General of Israel Cultural Department, January-February, 2005.
Whats Up! whatsupnyc.com, New York, NY, January, 2005
Moyal, Raviv. “The Big Apple Falls Close to the Tree.” Maariv International Ed., 14 January. p. 46
2004 Cerbini, Lorenza, “Alla Buia Gallery si Festeggia con ‘Primo,’” America Oggi, 27 June, 2004, p. 9. Jon Elliot, "The Mouth Breathers at NURTUREart." The Greenline, 11-29 February, 2004, p. 11.
2003 New York Magazine, (Intelligencer section), “The Bill Clinton Show”, New York, NY, October.
2002 PoT Exhibition Catalog, Sau Paulo, Brazil, September.
“Artists Respond,” Art New England Reviews, New England, September. Maariv America, weekend edition, New York, September.
2001 Time Out Magazine London Art Review, London, England, May. Time Out Magazine London Art Review, London, England, March.
2000 Assembly Group Exhibition Catalog, London, England, October. Goldsmiths Master’s Thesis Exhibition Catalog, London, England, July.
1999 Ouie Kelete Hungarian Weekly Paper, Jerusalem, Israel, May. Studio Art Magazine, Tel-Aviv, Israel, May.
1995 Jewish Week News, Art Section, New York, December