Campbell La Pun’s world is a plastic, candy coloured utopia infested with tamagochi cuteness, multi-million pound international brands and explosions of saturated colour presnted in drips and splashes. Campbell La Pun was born in New Zealand, grew up in Melbourne but now resides in Tokyo, where eastern and western cultures collide. It is this energy and excitement which fuels his work, which he creates with stencils and spray paints on wood and canvas.
Lisa: How would you describe your 2-dimensional work?
Campbell: I call it stencil pop art, most works I paint on wood panels using stencils cut by hand and painted using spray paint.
Lisa: Much like Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans, you often repeat a motif (in your case the spray can) with the effect of iconicizing it. What does the image of the spray can symbolize to you?
Campbell: I never planned on repeating this image, I’ve discovered a fascination with spray cans and their endless possibilities. I still have so many ideas so for the moment will continue exploring this subject.
Lisa: What do you love most about sprays and stencils?
Campbell: I love the colours of spray cans, their names and the way it allows you to create, I prefer pushing a button over using a brush. Stencils can be very time consuming and fragile although I appreciate the human element they add when cut by hand, they’re never perfect.
Lisa: You have made works that heavily reference the works of other artists, including Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami. Are you ever accused of plagiarism and if so what would be your defence?
Campbell: Plagiarism and appropriation are two very different things, the images I’ve altered of these artists are very obvious and intended as a parody, always positive and purely for enjoyment. I think it’s very common in pop art to appropriate popular imagery.
Lisa: How long do you spend designing/planning your artworks before you actually get the sprays out?
Campbell: Each work is different so it really depends on the piece. I generally start and finish each piece in 2-3 weeks however am always working on around 10 or more pieces at one time.
Lisa: What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
It always starts with coffee and then could be a variety of things, priming panels, designing new pieces, printing stencils, cutting, painting, packing and shipping, admin, emails and everything else.
Lisa: How has living in Tokyo influenced your work?
Campbell: Space is limited in Tokyo so has forced me to be very efficient in the studio. Currently I can only paint a number of works, pack them up then move on and repeat the process.
Lisa: How do you know when a work is finished?
Campbell: The planned out works are generally completed once stencils are cut and painted. Pieces I just paint with no plan of the outcome are finished when I’m happy to hang them on the wall and don’t see anything that needs adding, fixing or painting over.
Lisa: Where online or in the flesh can we view more of your work?
Campbell: My website is www.lapun.com and has links to the galleries where you can view my works in New York, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.