Dan’s Cover Artist Campbell La Pun Celebrates Cherry Blossom Season

February 17, 2023 Dan's Papers cover artist Campbell La Pun
February 17, 2023 Dan’s Papers cover artist Campbell La Pun
Courtesy Campbell La Pun

This issue’s cover art by Campbell La Pun comes to us from DTR Modern Galleries.

Born in New Zealand, La Pun called Melbourne, Australia home until he took his budding art career to Tokyo, Japan. There he blossomed into a renowned international artist, using paints, aerosols, stencils and images of iconic pop culture characters from video games, films and anime.

Here, La Pun discusses this week’s cover art, his career and his greatest artistic achievement.

February 17, 2023 Dan's Papers cover art by Campbell La Pun
February 17, 2023 Dan’s Papers cover art by Campbell La PunCourtesy DTR Modern

Talking Art with Campbell La Pun

What inspired you to paint “Sakura Hanami – Ful” and how does it serve to expand your Sakura Hanami series?

On my walk to my studio I used to pass through a famous walkway to the main Kamakura shrine which was full of cherry blossoms during the season. I would always think about if it was possible I could paint them using spray paint and create paintings that would give the same feeling being absorbed at the peak when they were blooming.

Towards the end of the season as the flowers would start to fall, I’d notice more sky in the background so the later paintings had more blue in the background representing this change which completed the series of paintings that year.

How was this piece created? Walk our readers through your creative process.

First, I’ll select images of different individual flowers and create stencils from them. Each flower is then separated into around five layers splitting colors from dark to light which is then each cut by hand using a scalpel.

The first layer is attached to the panel and painted using spray paint, then the same step repeated for each remaining layer until the flower is complete. The next flower is then attached and the process repeated over and over until the painting has enough flowers to create the feeling of the cherry blossom season.

Campbell La Pun "Hibiki SE - 24 Seasons (Blue Drip)" (2022, Aerosol on Panel, 57.5" x 40.5") available at DTR Modern
Campbell La Pun’s “Hibiki SE – 24 Seasons (Blue Drip)” (2022, Aerosol on Panel, 57.5″ x 40.5″) available at DTR ModernCourtesy DTR Modern Galleries

When do you consider the starting point of your art career, and how did your move to Japan impact your career trajectory?

I feel there’s been two starting points to my art career. It first started with an interest in music, and I continued to study sound as art through university. In 2013 I decided to start painting, creating my first pieces at the start of the year which went straight to a gallery, and it hasn’t really stopped since then.

I moved to Japan later that year which allowed me to focus on the work and to establish myself as an international artist.

How and when did your partnership with DTR Modern Galleries begin?

DTR first contacted me in 2017, and we’ve been working together ever since. They’ve been incredible to work with since the very beginning, and I’m very fortunate to have found such a professional gallery. Everyone at each gallery is a pleasure to work with. I enjoy all the artists they represent, so it’s always a thrill to see my work hanging next to them.

What do you consider the greatest accomplishment or accolade of your art career so far?

I really loved working with Dom Perignon for a private event in Switzerland; my first Paris solo show will always be a great memory, and I’m now looking forward to putting a new show together at DTR in Boston in the fall. I try to think I’m always just at the beginning of my career, so I’ll always be working on my greatest accomplishment.

Campbell La Pun "Montrachet Krug - Repetae" (2022, Aerosol on Panel, 57.5" x 40.5") available at DTR Modern
Campbell La Pun’s “Montrachet Krug – Repetae” (2022, Aerosol on Panel, 57.5″ x 40.5″) available at DTR ModernCourtesy DTR Modern Galleries

What do you find most rewarding about creating and sharing your art?

The most rewarding part is completing the work and sending it out into the world for someone else to enjoy. It’s during the creation of each painting I work out what I plan to do next so by completing the piece, it allows me to understand the next piece and keep progressing and improving the work.

Would you like to share any closing thoughts or additional information?

It will be DTR Modern Galleries’ 20th anniversary this year which I’m honored to be a part of. Every artist’s work looks amazing, so I would recommend visiting one of the galleries when you have the opportunity.

To see more of Campbell La Pun’s artwork and inquire about purchasing a piece from DTR Modern Galleries locations in Palm Beach, New York City, Nantucket, Boston and Washington, D.C., visit dtrmodern.com.