Sunday, December 22, 2013

Loss of an Artist and Fighter

SORRY to hear of the death,  at only 59,  of Leon Kuhn, a very talented artist, who dedicated his imagination and skills to relentlessly depicting the truth about capitalism and war, and assisting the fight against them.

I met Leon some years ago at a Stop the War event where he had a stall for his cartoons and postcards. Before that a comrade from Kilburn had mentioned that he was going to visit this artist who was with the Socialist Workers Party(SWP) politically, but also a Workers Press reader. Evidently though his socialist commitment never wavered, Leon was no sectarian, and his cartoons frequently appeared in the Morning Star. He also lent support to Respect during its East End campaigns, and to Unite Against Fascism. Whatever variation in his position,  his crosshairs remained trained on the enemy.

A book "Topple the Mighty" brought out with Colin Gill took an irreverent but erudite look at the imperial history behind much of London's monuments and statuary. 

A tribute on the Counterfire site by Chris Bird, who worked with Leon and marched with him on demonstrations, says:
During the miners’ strike of 1984-5 Leon was an active member of Kilburn Miners Support Group and one of his most valued possessions was the miner’s lamp given to him by the NUM in gratitude for his support. Leon was sceptical of the art world of inflated prices and obscure meanings. For Leon art must connect with the struggle of ordinary people. 


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