National Artist for Painting (1999)
(May 22, 1924 – June 10, 1999)
J. (Jeremias) Elizalde Navarro, was born on May 22, 1924 in Antique. He is a versatile artist, being both a proficient painter and sculptor. His devotion to the visual arts spans 40 years of drawing, printmaking, graphic designing, painting and sculpting. His masks carved in hardwood merge the human and the animal; his paintings consists of abstracts and figures in oil and watercolor; and his assemblages fuse found objects and metal parts. He has done a series of figurative works drawing inspiration from Balinese art and culture, his power as a master of colors largely evident in his large four-panel The Seasons (1992: Prudential Bank collection).
A Navarro sampler includes his ’50s and ’60s fiction illustrations for This Week of the Manila Chronicle, and the rotund, India-ink figurative drawings for Lydia Arguilla’s storybook, Juan Tamad. Three of his major mixed media works are I’m Sorry Jesus, I Can’t Attend Christmas This Year (1965), and his Homage to Dodjie Laurel (1969: Ateneo Art Gallery collection), and A Flying Contraption for Mr. Icarus (1984: Lopez Museum).