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Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 40x52
Through Your Eyes
Solo Exhibition
August 12 - 31, 2013
Opening Reception
Thursday, August 15, 6:00-9:00pm
Meet Alekander @ Opening Reception
Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm

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 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.