I'm glad I don't have to say Paul Badiť is a great artist.  I'm not an art critic or art historian I'm just a person who loves to look at art.  If I were forced to make a judgment as to Badiť's future in the history of art I could not do it because that depends on who buys it and who sees it and who wishes they could buy it. My personal definition of an artist of the first rank is an artist who makes me see the world of things and people and ideas in a way that I never would have done without see their art.

There can be no doubt that Badiť is an artist. He has a sense of materials and color and form that puts him into that legion of artists who toil in slavery to those who went before them.  Badiť's control of those same materials, color and forms seem to raise him to a level or two above that legion.  It’s a place where he is willing to go day after day and face the blank canvas and blank page.  That lonely place where the artist has to ask himself why he's there?  Why when he would rather be any other place he chooses to face his demons and try to explain them to us through his art.

If we are to allow Badiť the Pantheon, where the Gods reside, then he will have to keep doing what is most difficult for all of us and that is to believe in himself when no one knows he exists. Will he be a 21st Century Van Gogh and die without the world knowing who he was? Will he be a late blooming Picasso open doors into art that other artist will venture into for the next hundred years?  Does it matter? - Not in any meaningful way to the rest of the world. If he dies unknown and the world finds that 2000 or 3000 or 4000 or however many he paints in his life time in the future and falls in love with his story or they end up in a landfill somewhere he will still have been an artist and told his story.

Will it change the world? Maybe. Art is part of our DNA. It’s a gift of evolution a survival trait, a mechanism that allowed our species to survive and explore that world. If an artist who can show us a different way of see that world is lost it is a cost to all of us.

I don't know if Badiť belongs in that Pantheon but he appears to think he does and everyday he makes another painting that shows us a little different way of seeing our world.

Michael Svehla