All images Copyright Branko Paradis.
"I love Branko’s work! Each painting brings me joy. My visitors always a comment about the work, and how beautiful it is. People consistently love it! I feel the passion in his work and I find his expressed point of view not only hopeful but quite blissful. There is a lovely playfulness, which is an integral component that shapes the statement and adds to the compelling nature of his work. The paintings carry their own mission; to be seen and more importantly to be enjoyed, appreciated and loved. Their presence lightens the room and seems to shun any disturbing news of the day. It allows me to focus on the innocence and exuberance they depict. They present themselves as islands of tranquility and joy in my everyday life. I love living with Branko’s art every day!"
David Ackerman, Collector, NY
Branko Paradis, an American, Self-taught, Naive art oil painter, was born on the kitchen table as bombs fell in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1942. He began to paint at about age eleven. traded family food for whatever colors he could find. Growing up, he loved everything American, and his only dream was to come to America. Before moving to New York in 1970, Paradis was part of the second generation group of painters known as the Yugoslav Primitives, a very popular group of Croatian Naive artists. In 1970, Paradis finally arrived in New York.
In 1972, the Director of Galerie St. Etienne on W. 57th St., having heard about Paradis' work in Europe, invited him to join a major exhibition featuring artists of the Naive movement in Croatia. This show brought Paradis further recognition, which inspired the Director of Hammer Galleries to invite him to mount his first one-man show in New York, from 1977-78.
Paradis' themes and subjects have varied through the years. Vivid memories of snow and peasant life remain with him, and he continues to paint them. In the late 1990s, he directed his energy to his unique naive African animals. Paradis' love for the USA appears often in many of his works, and his 2016 collection of reverse oil paintings gave him the opportunity to return to a method used when he was still in Croatia. Branko Paradis remains true to his seemingly simple "naive" style, which gives us an innocence and honesty that is missed in modern life. His charming and masterful work continues to delight admirers and collectors.