Belec Tratas (born Belec Tratastovic) was born in Slovakia near the brink of the Soviet Union. Living near the boundaries of the Iron Curtain meant that access to Western pop culture was rare, creating a deep sense of wonder for young Belec. To him celebrities possessed a mythical quality as powerful as that of religious icons. After the fall of the Soviet Union Belec's family moved to the United States.
Growing up in Los Angeles further deepened Belec's fascination with celebrity stardom. He learned to draw by copying the abundant pop culture that he now had access to. As it does for most starry-eyed dreamers living in Los Angeles, the magic of Hollywood slowly faded revealing the complex realities of the pursuit of fame. Inspired by his life long fascination and his personal experiences in the entertainment industry, Belec Tratas creates paintings that reveal the life stories behind the carefully composed public image of these mythical stars.