My name is Aleksander Kazimierz Betko. I was born in Katowice, Poland in 1976. To say that I was born into a tumultuous environment would be an understatement. Poland was in a state of turmoil; it’s political climate lead to a chain of events that brought my family here. We started over.
I arrived in New York City, lovely JFK, in the beginning of winter 1980 soon to be 1981. We got a Polish Pope who supported Solidarity and now the world was watching. Ronald Reagan was elected, sworn in, shot soon after and I learned English from Sesame Street.
I grew up here. New York City has been my home. I was a wide eyed foreign child taking in all of the insanity that was New York in the 80’s. Life then was lived out loud and to me it seemed as though everyone mixed. Stockbrokers, Bowery bums, artists, street musicians, up-town socialites, punks and everyone else comprised the very colorful tapestry that would be my formative years. These images were indelibly burned into my consciousness and I felt these juxtapositions were common.
New York had an edge then. Though it was dangerous, it was wildly creative. It took very little time for me to begin expressing myself.
I was the different kid. And no, not necessarily because I was foreign and the one with the weird, stinky lunch. I had an interest in things that other kids didn’t. My mother took notice very quickly (after all, she was in the principal’s office all the time) and made haste to sign me up for art classes.
I thrived. I was twelve years old and being taught by professional artists. I studied the masters, frequented museums, went to college for this life’s decision and actually took this thing far.
I’m a bit older now and have culminated my life experiences into an artistic direction. I am a fine artist that captures the definition of life in New York City. My work is a range of images from landscapes, to cityscapes, to introspective moments that define the resiliency and strength it takes to live one’s life on their own terms in a seemingly cold and unforgiving city that provides the back drop to some of the triumphs of the human condition.
1994 – 1997 SUNY Purchase, Fine Art Major in Painting
1990 – 1996 Art Student’s League of New York, Study in Life Painting with Peter Cox
2000 – 2001 Art Students’ League of New York, Study in Life with Harvey Dinnerstein
Gallery 138 – Group Shows April 2001 and June 2001
Gallery Henoch - 2004 – 2006
440 Gallery – Text Exhibition – June – July 2011
Lyons Wier Gallery – Under the Radar – July 2011
Artists Wanted – Art Takes Time Square – June 2012
Barlow Fine Art – Parallax Art Fair – August 2012
GoBrooklyn Art – Open Studio Visits – September 2012
Brooklyn Museum – Top Ten Finalist Targeting First Saturday Group Show December 2012
Dacia Gallery – Art Show on Broadway – November 2012
Dacia Gallery – Figurative Group Show – December 2012
Dacia Gallery in conjunction with The European House of Arts – Universal Art Project – Mazieres, France – July 2013. Erfurt, Germany – August 2013, Sibiu, Romania – August 2013
Dacia Gallery – Solo Show – August 2013
Saatchi Online - BKLYNDesigns - May 2015
Slide Luck - Northside II - June 2015
Karen and Ed Adler Gallery Port Washington Public Library - Solo Show - September - November 2016
2011 Art PR Wire “Under The Radar OPENING”
2011 All Art News “Under the Radar is Lyons Wier Gallery’s Second Group Exhibition of the Summer Season”
2012 Artists Wanted “Art Takes Time Square”
2012 BLOUIN ARTINFO “Art News and Gossip”
2012 Observer, Gallerist NY “Brooklyn Museum Announces Top 10 Artists From ‘Go Brooklyn,’ Its Crowd-Sourced Competition [Updated With the Winners' Artworks]”
2013 iARTistas “Goss 183 #6 (Profile and feature)
2013 RAWartists – Front page and feature on Rawartists.org site
2014 Poets and Artists “Raw Beauty” Issue #55
2015 Poets and Artists "Realism Issue" Edited by Frank Bernarducci Issue #67