Alexis Galleries trails Suraj Adekola’s journey in the art world with Infinite Growth

When Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis opened Alexis Galleries in 2011, all she wanted was to support indigenous artists, nurture and offer them a platform to grow into artists whose works would be sought-after across the world.

Since then, Patty, who doubles as founder and curator of the Victoria Island, Lagos-based art gallery, has groomed many who have truly become the masters she envisaged at the opening of the gallery.

One of them is Suraj Adekola, one of the leading African artists of international repute. Suraj has been with the gallery since its inception and the gallery is happy to see him grow into the master artist he is today, with exhibitions at home and abroad, works at international auctions and in the hands of notable collectors.

No wonder Patty describes him as a prolific painter who consistently develops in style and value. “His works precede him. He is a fine artist who uses his works as a necessary tool to engage and deliver his message of hope and positivity around the world despite the consistent ills that surface in society”, Patty said.

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“Suraj’s works go beyond aesthetics, he believes in the multiple factors that give art its relevance. He believes that art derives relevance from more than just its aesthetic qualities but also from the values it sources from its social, cultural, historical, and psychological factors”.

For Armando Avelar Bandeira, who met Suraj for the first time at an auction in Lisbon, Portugal, and stuck with him since then, the artist is all about enchantment amid mastering of technique, incredible ability to play with colours, painting with his soul and let people see it.

“Suraj is unique and instantly recognizable. His paintings are poems written with a brush by his soul”, Bandeira, who Suraj regards as a father figure, said.

However, Suraj has really come of age and is staging his first-ever solo exhibition titled Infinite Growth at Alexis Galleries at 282, Akin Olugbade Street, Off Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The exhibition, which promises to be intriguing for both virtual and live views, opens to the public live on Saturday, May 29, 2021, from 3 pm-6 pm and runs till June 5, 2021, opening from 10 am-6 pm daily. As well, the exhibition’s virtual tour will also be published on the opening day on the gallery’s social media handles; Instagram- alexisgalleries, Facebook- Thehomestores&Alexisgalleries.

It features 15 recent works by the artists with exciting titles such as; Swimming in joy, Blessing Overflow, Full of life, Full of smile, People & Pandemic, Pilgrim, Ilaje Community, among other works, which are done in acrylic medium.

Coined by Patty, the title truly reflects Suraj’s journey in the art world, and pointing more to his achievements, which Patty noted were through hard work and discipline.

Speaking on the exhibition, Patty noted that Infinite Growth showcases recent works of Suraj, an unapologetic collection of bold works that stirs admiration and gives a sense of hope among the social unrest we face globally in recent times.

Offering reasons people should see the solo exhibition, Patty explained that Suraj’s consistent development in style and value underscores the reason for the exhibition. “Suraj’s works go beyond aesthetics, he believes in the multiple factors that give art its relevance. He believes that art derives relevance from more than just its aesthetic qualities but also from the values it sources from its social, cultural, historical and psychological factors”.

Also speaking from Lisbon, Portugal, on the paintings that would be offered at the exhibition, Bandeira drew attention to ‘Pilgrimages’, one of the exciting works by Suraj. “…it is amazing how, in that wide white spot, we can see all those pilgrims, one by one, and perfectly find ourselves inside”, he said.

He urged the public to see the exhibition because Suraj makes people ‘feel part of his paintings’.

For Alimi Adewale, a Nigerian contemporary visual artist and painter, who appraised the exhibition, Infinite Growth is a culmination of past styles and recent experiments by Suraj. In his review of the works, particularly Swimming in joy, Full of life, and Full of smile, Adewale observed that the works are testament of better days ahead.

“In these new paintings, Suraj emphasizes the importance of spontaneity within his artistic method, there is a new brilliance to his colour gradations, the focus of this show from my perspective is the hope we need after the world have gone through the pandemic and various social unrest”, Adewale said.

Meanwhile, the excited Suraj commended Patty and Alexis Galleries for supporting him all the way, as well as giving the appropriate title to the solo exhibition, which means much for him.

“This exhibition aims to showcase predominantly my recent works in reflection of how my works have evolved since I started my artistic practice. These paintings are my innate desire to positively impact the world through my art”, Suraj said.

Once again, in the tradition of the gallery, part of the exhibition proceeds would be donated to “Little Sisters of the Poor”, a charity organisation, which offers the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to Himself.

Also, Alexis Galleries is grateful to the sponsors of the exhibition, including; Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia Tv, Cool Fm, UPS, Haier Thermocool, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, Aina Blankson, The Homestores, Art Café, Lost In Lagos, Arzeh Integrated Ltd, and AMG Logistics.

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