Branko Paradis, an American, Self-taught, Naive art oil painter, was born as bombs fell in Zagreb, Croatia in 1942. He began to paint in childhood, and often traded family food for colors and pencils. Growing up, his only dream was to come to America.
By the late 1960s, Paradis was part of a popular group of Croatian Naive art artists, known as the Yugoslav Primitives. Finally, the time was right for him to depart Croatia, and he arrived in New York City in 1970.
In 1972, the Director of Galerie St. Etienne on W. 57th Street, having heard about Paradis' work in Europe, invited him to join a major group exhibition featuring artists of the Naive art movement in the Balkans. This was a major show that brought East European Naive art to the heart of NYC, and brought further attention to Paradis. From 1977-78, he had his first one-man solo show in New York at Hammer Galleries, which was a turning point in Paradis' career.
Paradis' themes and subjects have varied through the years. Vivid memories of snow and rural peasant life remain with him, and he continues to paint them. In the late 1990s, he directed his love and energy to his African animals. This was the beginning of his popular and unique Naive Art African Animals Collection. Paradis' love and respect for the USA has always been his inspiration in many of his images. And, most recently, his 2016 collection of Reverse Oil Paintings Collection gives us the opportunity to view his skill in this medium which began years ago in Croatia.
Now at 75, Branko Paradis remains true to his seemingly simple naive style. His unique and enchanting life's work gives us an innocence and simplicity that is often missed in everyday modern life. Paradis' masterful, unique and charming work continues to delight a range of admirers -- art lovers, collectors, and of course, the children.