How did you develop your unique style?
Aleksander Betko: My style started to take shape after studying with Harvey Dinnerstein. I had to find my own voice, so I focused very heavily on narrative. I wanted to say something unique and reflective of life in New York. I developed a dialogue with Williamsburg’s Industrial Northside while going on long walks to work out things I was going through at the time. I always referred to the French academics but looked to photographers like Avedon, Arbus, Goldin, Frank for modern sensibilities. I created photorealistic graphite drawings that were approached similarly to how an oil painting develops in layers and glazes. I applied that same approach to my oil paintings. I want my work to have an uncanny representation of New York City life.
How do you find inspiration?
Aleksander Betko: I walk the streets of New York. I interact with her people. There are so many stories to tell. The people that have modelled for me have had life experiences that had to be told in visual format. All these stories have made a very colorful tapestry that has been my life here in Brooklyn, specifically the Northside, East Williamsburg and now Bushwick.
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