Le Rêve – The Dream rigger and artist Peter Luke creates exuberant canvases that hang at Wynn Las Vegas, and around the world.
“It's kind of a neat thing to wear two hats at the resort,” laughs Peter Luke as he reaches for a Le Rêve – The Dream branded mug he’s just filled with his morning cup of coffee.
Luke, a rigger in the famed Wynn Las Vegas show, is up early inside his art studio, where he spends the other half of his workday. When Luke’s not overseeing the safety of performers from behind the scenes, he is here, surrounded by tables full of brushes, paint bottles and unfinished canvases.
The studio is Luke’s garage in the North Las Vegas home he shares with his wife, Cynthia, and their three boys. The floor, as one would expect, is covered in splashes of every color, and Luke is occasionally distracted by a large canvas painting of New York City’s Times Square, one that looks nearly finished but he describes as “a work in progress.”
“I typically do backgrounds first, and then it’s completely random,” he says of his process. Starting with a photograph as an inspiration, Luke will incorporate any color that comes to mind in order to make the piece “pop.” He doesn’t have a professional background, just a passion for painting, and perhaps some inherited talent from his grandfather, an illustrator and cartoonist.
Recounting the journey that took him from New York realtor to Las Vegas artist, Luke motions to a painting of his wife that hangs on the opposite wall. “When your first one is as good as I think that one is and you get a lot of positive feedback,” he explains, “when people start talking more seriously about your art, it’s something you start to seriously think about.”
Luke’s work caught the eye of the Wynn design team after he brought in one of his paintings to show fellow crew members. That led to a commission to create a series of seven paintings for Wynn Las Vegas: six sports figures and an homage to longtime resort host Charlie Meyerson, to be displayed at Meyerson’s namesake restaurant.
“Wynn is known all over the world for its amazing public art collection,” Luke says. “To occupy wall space with the pieces in this resort is an incredible opportunity for any artist.” In the years since he first picked up a brush, Luke has attracted a global fan base. His paintings hang with collections from the Cayman Islands to Alexandria, Egypt, he’s donated his work to golfer Jack Nicklaus’ charity, and he was even commissioned to do a painting of Babe Ruth for the New York Yankees legend’s family. Still, he considers himself to be “somebody who just enjoys painting.”
“I don’t feel like I’ve graduated into this ‘I’m an artist’ mindset,” he notes. “I think it’s just important that people enjoy looking at your art. If you like looking at it, then most likely other people will, too.”