Ray (Rimvydas) Bartkus (b. 1961, Lithuania) is a multidisciplinary artist who graduated from the Graphics Department of the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1986. Having begun his artistic career by creating lithographs, etchings and pencil drawings, Bartkus moved to New York City with his wife and son in 1991 and has been living there ever since. His prints quickly caught the attention of The New York Times’ Art Director, which soon became the beginning of a several decade-long collaboration with one of world’s best-known daily newspapers. Bartkus’s practice is not limited to graphics though: the artist has also created object art, installations, photographs, photomontages, paintings, drawings and street art, among other artistic projects.
Ray Bartkus’s early work in illustration was featured in the covers and pages of many American and international publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Harper’s, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, The New Republic, Smart Money, The Fortune, Businessweek, Courrier International and others. Later, seeking to expand his creative vision, the artist began to devote greater efforts to developing his own independent art projects, which included digital art, installations, oil paintings and drawings. Today Bartkus can be described as a versatile artist whose conceptual work is characterised by a wide variety of techniques. He gives special focus to different media and the abundant opportunities they provide: as he himself claims, making full use of each media and their combinations allows him to reach the viewer more clearly and directly. Bartkus also pays attention to current global issues and their meanings relevant at a particular time.
Ray Bartkus’s work has been exhibited in multiple personal shows in Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Austria and the US, with no identical collection presented in any two of them. He is also actively participating in group exhibitions, collaborative art projects and festivals. Bartkus is the designer of the 50 litas bill (Lithuania’s national currency used until 2015). His editorial illustrations have received numerous awards from various American designer and illustrator societies. Finally, Bartkus’s works have been included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Lithuania’s National Art Museum as well as many private collections in the US, Canada, Lithuania, Germany, France and other countries.
In 1991 he moved with his wife Ina and son Kris to New York City, where he has resided since and where his prints quickly attracted the attention of the New York Times art director and he began what became several decades of work with the New York Times. His illustrations were subsequently featured in the covers and pages of many national and international publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Harper's, Billboard, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, the New Republic, Smart Money, The Fortune, Businessweek, Courrier International. Ray's editorial illustrations have received numerous awards from the Society of Publication Designers, the Society of Newspaper Designers and the Society of Illustrators.
Seeking to expand his creative vision, Ray has begun devoting greater efforts to his own art projects, which include digital art, installations, oil paintings and drawings. In the past decade, Ray has hosted successful personal shows in Vienna (Austria), Warsaw (Poland), Geneva (Switzerland), Wroclaw (Poland), Kiev (Ukraine), Vilnius (Lithuania), Salzburg (Austria), Philadelphia (USA) and New York City, exhibiting entirely new collections of works in every one of them.