Shay Kun (Hebrew: שי קון; born 1974) is an Israeli-American painter known for post-modern interpretation of the Hudson River School movement.He is the son of Israeli painter Zeev Kun.
In this series of paintings, Kun has inverted the relationship between natural and artificial; between fact and fiction. Artists have always been prescient, but Kun never imagined the whimsical and distorted views of the environment in these paintings were anything but "fake."
The paintings reference the paradigm shift brought about by some noted 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? Just as journalists and many Americans are asking how can truth be so subjective, Kun is asking are we as a civilization always destined to repeat 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 Kunís work. There are no absolute answers or truths. They are all just theories, some of which are better than others.
In Lift Off, Shay's dexterity and attention to detail are readily apparent. But what brings this series even more attention is the broad color palette. The blues in the sky take on an otherworldly quality; the greens look so lush you think you can smell the vegetation.