Branko Paradis, an American artist, was born as bombs fell in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1942. By age ten, he was trading family food for pencils and colors in order to “make pictures.” Paradis is a , Self-taught artist, with no formal art training, as is the case with Naïve artists. While growing up in Croatia, Paradis loved everything American — a love he expresses in many of his paintings. Life was very hard in those days for him. His only dream and desire was to make his way to America. In the 1960s, he took part in the exhibitions of the second generation of Croatian artists who were working in the Croatian Naive art movement, and in 1970, Branko Paradis finally arrived in New York.
In 1972, having heard about his work in Croatia and Europe, Dr. Otto Kallir, Director of Galerie St. Etienne on W. 57th St.reet in New York, invited Paradis to participate in an exhibition featuring the major Croatian artists at that time in Europe. This was Paradis’ first showing in the U.S. and an important showing that was taking place in the U.S.
A few years later, by invitation of Dr. Armand Hammer of Hammer Galleries, Paradis had his first major solo exhibition in New York from 1977-78. Its success was a major turning point in Paradis' life as an artist in the USA.
Paradis’ themes and subjects have always been varied. Vivid memories of snow and peasants remain with him, and he continues to paint them. In the late 1990s, he jumped full force into his Naïve Art African Animals collection, which still continues to delight many. Rarely seen are his collection of paintings “The Sensuous Femme.”
Now at 76, Branko Paradis continues to paint and work in his NYC studio. His unique and delightful work is still collected and enjoyed by many. Studio visits in NYC are welcomed. Please inquire.
Best regards from Branko,