The motto of wUG LAKU'S STUDIO & gARAGE is "Art is where you find it." Here Wug Laku, who manages to be both intensely creative and laid-back, rests on a red couch with his feet propped on his handcrafted pine coffee table, which he calls a stooble. "It's a table. It's a stool. It's a stooble!" Laku declares.
For his first year exhibiting at Oranje, Laku plans to recreate his comfortable gallery setting, providing an interactive experience where patrons may pause, sit, relax and converse. On view will be Laku's drawings, digital art prints, light boxes, and furniture plus works by artists like Cagney King who have exhibited in his gallery.
Laku's compositions explore relationships between shapes and colors, often juxtaposing the geometric with the organic. Through abstraction and clean design, Laku says that he tries to, "Provoke a thought... a thought process, and let viewers explore their own minds."
On this day in Laku's studio, metalsmith Nancy Lee stands nearby the resting Laku, poised near pedestals displaying her jewelry and sculptures. Lee's studio is within Laku's space, and at Oranje, the two will combine their adjacent booths. They are a couple.
Laku describes his art as being in "a middle ground between the practicality of the Midwestern style and the simplicity of the Asian approach." Appropriately hailing from Middlebury, Indiana, Laku learned woodworking from his father, a builder. Laku's pursuit of music brought him to Indianapolis in 1980 as sound technician for the band Roadmaster.
When he left rock and roll, Laku set out to become a commercial artist. Self-taught, he created cover illustrations for Broad Ripple's Village Sampler
before venturing into fine art. Next spring, through an Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowship grant, Laku will travel to Scotland to see renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy's site-specific environmental art.
Laku's work has evolved over time from the illustrative to the abstract, a journey he says he took "by following the artistic process and not imposing my will on things."