Oscar Joyo Debut Solo Show at VSG

re:Chaos with Care

Oscar Joyo 

Opening Friday, March 8 through March 30, 2024

Celebration on opening night from 6pm-10pm

A Very Serious Gallery is proud to present Oscar Joyo: re:Chaos with Care. The exhibition, his first solo exhibition with the gallery, includes over 15 new paintings with artist painted matching frames.

This is a continuation of a 2023 mini release, which was under the same name, which sold out in less than 24 hours

Drawing upon the histories of Surrealism, contemporary portraiture, and Afrofuturism, Joyo creates technicolor portraits that monumentalize his subjects, projecting feelings of regality, strength, and community. The subjects in his works are often a highly manipulated composite of people, places, and experiences, as he draws from stock photos, memory, and personal photography.

Rendered in acrylic, in a technicolor palette, Joyo’s paintings demand recognition, highlight the importance of taking up space, and encourage pride in being a person of color.

Originally from Malawi, Joyo incorporates recognizable African patterns and shapes into his compositions. Through his painting process he pays homage to a shrinking memory of home and aims to preserve what is left of his memories of his childhood. In this vein, women appear often in the work, nodding to the community who raised him and a culture that prioritizes the power, knowledge, and care of women.  

This new body of work pays specific attention to the music genre of ‘glitch’, presenting his subjects in a more free-form, reverberating, and fractured manner than ever before. Joyo utilizes his chromaesthesia - the ability to see colors when hearing sounds - to dictate the color and compositional choices in this work. He speaks of this exhibition as a way to “revisit the chaos” and tap into the hope and possibility of what lies ahead - journeying into the chaos with care. 


Oscar Joyo (b.1992) is a Malawian born, Chicago-based artist. His signature style of tribal patterns and vivid portraiture can be described as a combination of Afrofuturism and Afrosurrealism. Joyo’s love for the arts began as a young boy drawing cartoons in Malawi, which continued through his studies at The American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Life Drawing in 2015. 

Joyo is active in the mural community in Chicago, having completed murals for several organizations around the midwest, and has collaborated with the NFL, Doc Martens, and Nike, among others, on numerous projects. His work is a love letter to his African heritage and the hope that there will be a better future for people of color.  

For early collector information, please fill out the form below or email allan@veryseriousgallery.com. 

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