IN THE ‘70s, painting was just a way for Jess Najarro to recuperate and recover after a brain operation. After which he delved into the arts, switching from one idea to another, as if his mental function began a serious workout.

“Painting started as a hobby and as a medical therapy after my brain operation at Cebu Doctors Hospital in 1979,” Jess explains.

He added: “ I was diagnosed with brain tumor, but thank God it was benign. Doing music and painting were part of my rehab.”

After surviving the ordeal, the man began to see the world with a little more color. He took up Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos major in advertising, and graduated in 1988.

After which, the man lived his life as he pleased. He applied as a layout artist for an advertising agency. Also, he played as a precussionist for a band back then. But in 1995, he joined the Cebu Arts Association (a group in which he is currently the president) as his personal move to grow more as a serious artist. Needless to say, his personal style developed all the more at this point.

“When painting, I prefer oil as my favorite medium because I can express myself better and I find the colors to be intense. I also prefer doing landscapes, seascapes figurative themes,” Jess shares.

“In 1999 I started to do modern styles, but the subjects are still classic; more simplified and brighter colors. But now, I prefer doing experiments like combining different styles in a single painting.”

Jess’ most recent exhibit dubbed “Style Cycle,” wrapped up yesterday. The one-man show, launched on May 30, was housed at Handuraw Pizza Cafe at Kasambagan, Mabolo, Cebu City. The exhibit title would explain it all for Jess. “The exhibit basically shows where the style of my works is headed. Once, from simple styles to now, more complex styles; like going back to realism with a twist of modernism.”

For his work themes, Jess considers himself a lover of humor. Admittedly, he tries to inject some of it in his works—albeit, with messages that do more than just tickle, but provoke thoughts as well.

His work entitled “Fighting Kites” shows a helicopter that crashes due to the kites flown near the airport. Or “The Beginning Of The End,” the piece according to Jess, “looks humorous,” but the meaning behind the artwork is about the nation’s “under-armed forces about to fight a gigantic mighty country trying to own our lands.”

Style Cycle may have ended, but Jess isn’t stopping any soon. “Although I have no plans for another solo show yet, art is my life right now. I feel like this is the only way that I can show the world my personal sentiments and about what is going on right now in our country.”

When it comes to his works, Jess simply plans on brushing away any opposition. Nonstop, such is his cycle.