Shay Kun was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Hungarian parents that survived the Holocaust, Ze’ev and Heddy Kun, both artists. Kun’s first solo exhibition has been in Tel Aviv at age 18. He later studied at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (1998) and received his masters at Goldsmiths, University of London (2000). Since then, he has been living and working in New York City.
His works has been exhibited worldwide, including solo shows at Linda Warren projects in Chicago, Benrimon Contemporary in New York, Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, Michael Schultz Gallery in Berlin, LaMontagne Gallery in Boston and at Hezi Cohen Gallery in Tel Aviv as well as numerous group shows, including at The 51st Venice Biennale, Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, Untitled gallery in New York, Fortes Vilaca Gallery in São Paulo, Leslie Smith in Amsterdam, and at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
Kun infuses traditional Hudson River School images of nature, particularly Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt. His painstaking attention to detail and composition of fantasy landscapes on canvas are updated with contemporary mass production Pop art motifs, out of scale and perspective. Kun’s hyperreality and postmodernism style creates a jarring utopia. In that respect, he inherited The Holocaust influence on his parents’ art. His mother paintings are utopian landscapes of an ideal world, while the paintings of his father, shows a dark world falling apart.
The New York Observer wrote: “Elements that he incorporates into his brilliantly colored, sometimes gaudy canvases including brittle, biscuit-tin landscapes of the sort mass-produced in factories in Taiwan…The show,’Exfoliations’, is further proof, like Mark Ryden’s recent show at Paul Kasmin, that the huge world of kitsch has become fair game for fine art”