Luke William Achterberg grew up in the Fox River Valley Region of Wisconsin; the Grandson of welders and the Son/Nephew of automotive customizers and painters. His undergraduate study focused on fine art, psychology, and philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Luke then decided to obtain a Welding Technical Diploma from Western Technical College in La Crosse. This led him to become a certified welder and fabricator at a custom job shop for a year before attending graduate school at the University of Kentucky and completing his Master of Fine Art. During his last year of graduate school he received the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center. Since then, he has been teaching Sculpture and Ceramics part time at Morehead State University. He recently completed a two month residency at Art-St-Urban in Switzerland. He maintains his own active studio in Lexington, Kentucky, where he recently completed a body of work for a solo exhibition with Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York City, New York. Luke Achterberg exhibits work both outdoor and indoor throughout the United States and Switzerland.
The work explores relationships between fine art and the subcultures of Americana found in hot-rodding, style writing, and street art—all of which display extremely high technical values developed outside of academia. Although I am an academic, I identify with these values and am diligent in my attention to the quality and individuality of each work. In accordance with the subversive acts of street artists, I create wild works that deeply contrast against their placement in the cityscape. While working, I think of the customization process that overturns the standardization of automobile mass production into vehicular uniqueness. I continually play with balance, both physical and aesthetic, creating a visual smoothness or sleekness, what I would call “Super Sleek.”