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.”
Shay Kun is a New York-based artist with a B.F.A. from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (1998) and an M.F.A. from Goldsmiths College in London, England (2000). Kun’s experience of showing both nationally and internationally has culminated in his acute awareness for his place in today’s visual culture - somewhere between the historical concept of fine art and the contemporary digital and electronic imagery central to his generation’s experience.