Written by: Jo Ann L. B. Duggins
Full Name: Bob Campbell
Age: 40 Something
Currently Residing: Derbyshire UK
Currently Listening To: Summer Holiday - U Can Have It All
First off, this feature is quite exciting in the fact that it's my first international feature! I happened upon Mr. Campbell because I mistook him for a friend of mine with the last name Stiglich. My friend goes by Stig so as you can understand I was confused to find that my friend had turned into a man who lives in the UK and makes art! Well it was a pleasant surprise none the less because in that confusion I discovered Bob Campbell of Stig Art.
Bob's work is what I would describe as, well, let me give you a visual. Remember the scene in Beetlejuice where the mom "decorates" their new digs? That furniture, those chairs in the dining room where the guests are having their faces sucked by large lobster tails? That scene...that is the art of Bob Campbell. Cool, eclectic, and what looks like it could be set in Dracula's castle, his pieces are fantastical works of art and vision. I especially love his chairs with their industrial pieces. He just seems like someone who has fun making really cool artwork and has a real appreciation for where he is in his life. His sculpture may appear a bit cold, but i assure the artist is not. He's taking these scraps that have been discarded and making them come to life again! I decided to find out more from Bob on how he creates these very cool pieces.
I read you are self taught...how did your relationship with your art develop?
I've always been a successful but disillusioned sort of bloke. I have a fairly prehistoric kind of relationship with Carol Ann, where basically I perform manly tasks in exchange for her skills as a wife and a mother and a best friend. We both like quirky objects and believe that humanity needs to recycle or die. I'd created a few pieces for our home, she liked them, I liked them, creating them helped me deal with my disillusionment. Then, 7 years ago, I was successfully prosecuted for a crime I did commit. Suddenly I needed to support my family through a new and legit enterprise. I could feel the fabric of my family starting to fray and needed to properly get my shit together. Sculpture was the natural course.
When I see your art, I see a lot of bio mechanical themes...very gothic, Gigeresque...how do you view your pieces?
I can see why people see themes within my work. I like that, because it means that people are having a proper look. But in the end its the private themes that resonate with me, like what it all represents to me and my family and what our lives were like before I made my living as an artist and how far I have come as a human being and as a man and a father and a husband, I wasn't always a lovely bloke you know.
How long does it take you to do a piece?
It can be anything between a few days and a month. Last year (2006) I created about 30-40 pieces in total, and sculpting is all I do for 4-6 days a week.
Where do you find the materials for your pieces and do you work with other mediums besides metal?
I knew that if I was going to kick it as an artist I needed parameters, a set of rules. Everything I use comes from scrapyards, demolition sites...its about using materials that have been discarded, I also use salvaged wood, leather, rubber as well as metal. If I varied too far from this path I might never get anything done.
What's the piece you are most proud of and why?
What I am most proud of is that I do it at all. Earning a living from sculpture is better than anything that I ever did before in my whole life. No piece ever leaves my workshop that I am not totally proud of. People pay a lot of money for my sculptures and for that I feel gratitude. I won't give them something I feel anything less than proud of.
What piece was the biggest pain in the arse and why?
I don't see any of them as a pain in the arse, making art just doesn't work like that for me. The only thing that occasionally does my head in is the weight and how much lifting I do, its like working out in a gym everyday of the week. Though Carol Ann seems to think that isn't a bad thing, maybe I'll get a bottle of olive oil and do a calendar one of these days.
Where do people usually find your pieces?
Everywhere - MySpace / bigger music festivals / fetish fairs / galleries / private collections / commercial buildings - if you look you will find it.
Where do you feel is the most ideal place for your pieces?
I rarely wonder about where they will end up, but ideally I would like them to end up with people who love them as much as I do and never get tired of looking at them.
Favorite place you like to retreat to and why?
Our oldest and best friends have a really beautiful house right on the beach over looking the India ocean, it doesn't get better than that.
If you would like to see more of Bob's incredible work visit him at his site or tell him how much you love his art on MySpace!
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