[Marxism] Franciszek (Frank) C. Kulon

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Mar 19 17:59:56 MST 2005

I've been meaning to say a word about this excellent artist, whose work can 
be seen at http://www.coolon.net/.  Frank resides in Sullivan County in 
upstate NY, where I grew up. He sends me images of his latest work every 
few months, for which I am always appreciative.

Although I have never met Frank in person (but plan to the next time I am 
upstate), I feel a certain kinship in that he does not accept the 
prevailing ethos of American society. That is of course no big deal for a 
60s radical like myself. It is a bit more unusual for an East European like 
Frank, however.

A local newspaper had an interesting article on Frank that can be read on 
his website:

Middletown Record, June 20, 2003

Reporter's notebook

Furor-inducing art makes comeback

Remember Frank Kulon's painting of three angels dropping a grenade on Iraqi 
children? It's the one the county took down from the lobby of the Sullivan 
County Government Center because it contained an anti-war statement.

It's the one that sparked a federal lawsuit: The artist is suing the 
county, alleging his civil rights were violated.

It's the one that led to the resignation of Sandee Pointer, who hung 
paintings in the center for years.

It made an encore in the Government Center yesterday.

A group called Sullivan Peace and Justice displayed the painting beneath 
the spot where it once hung, while handing out peace literature.

The group later presented lawmakers with a petition with 100 signatures 
opposing the county's decision to take it down.

County officials now say that Kulon can hang the painting, if he brings it 


I should add that Frank has attracted attention overseas. Our friends at 
the Green Left Weekly have an article on him as well:

Green Left Weekly, June 23, 2004.
The paintings of Franciszek Kulon

Franciszek Kulon was born in Sanok, Poland, and developed his painting 
skills by studying with masters such as Bronislaw Naczas, Edward Kiferling, 
Marian Kruczek and Michal Bylina.

Today, Kulon lives in the Catskills, not far from New York City, and paints 
subject matter that he feels deeply about. His art often deals with the 
poverty, cruelty and the pathos of human existence which, according to 
Kulon, has been degraded through social forces beyond individual human control.

One of Kulon's paintings, pictured here, became famous in 2003. It portrays 
three cherubs — one holding a pirate flag, another holding the pin of a 
grenade about to land on two children who lie on a dark cloud, and the 
third, apparently discouraged angel, grasping a torn US flag and watching 
the grenade fall.

For less than a day, the painting hung in the concourse of New York State's 
Sullivan County government centre with other paintings, many of which were 
collected by long-time curator Sandee Pointer.

Complaints prompted the painting's removal while county manager Dan Briggs 
was on vacation. Briggs told the Delaware Valley River Reporter on June 5, 
2003, that it was safe to say that the painting was removed because it had 
an anti-war message. To protest against the censorship, Pointer resigned 
and removed the 100 paintings she had collected.

Visit <http://coolon.net> to see more of Kulon's work.

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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