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Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson

Songs About War

February 10March 23, 2024

Gallery II

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson: Songs About War

Press Release

Installation photo credit: Jeff McLane

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10, 4-6PM

Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson’s first solo exhibition at the gallery entitled Songs About War. Featuring a suite of richly layered paintings, Olisaemeka takes the viewer on a fantastical journey into his world–an imagined past of war, strife and mayhem. Rife with imagined characters, plots, and wildly inventive scenes, the paintings in the exhibition build a narrative tapestry in which allegorical tableaus string together to suggest a collective history. Olisaemeka’s cropped and dark compositions, dramatic lighting and staged arrangement of his subjects evoke the theater–akin to a Shakespearean play taking place on a dramatically lit stage in which the artist’s universe plays out.

From the Journals of Field General Wali Wallace:

I am a man of war! The pungent smell of gunpowder and napalm fill my nostrils. These are the spices that pepper my mornings and invigorate my senses!

My weapon is an extension of my hand and it will execute my will! A profound sense of calm has flooded my neural pathways! Divine tranquility! That is because every cog and screw of my being was hand crafted by the creator for the purpose of war! I giggle as I watch the eyes of my enemy fill with terror! I enjoy a rush of dopamine when I am faced with dangerous and terrible situations!

I am nearly impossible to kill under the rules of international humanitarian law on account of my hyper awareness and ferocity. My lapel is decorated with golden pins and colorful patches which signify my courage.

I wave the flag of my nation triumphantly in victory and in defeat! My men were chosen to seize and hold the ant hill! And we shall! Trembling with horror are the hands of the opposition! Racing and skipping are their hearts! When my mission is over I will return home to the arms of my lover! The sun will shine in my backyard again!

•••
Oh, fate!
Oh, death!

I am utterly under siege! I’m where I should not be! Soldier ants are nibbling at my extremities. The cold wind gnaws at my soul!

I was never meant to fight! I was meant to write poems and sing songs by the fire! Now I am extinguished.

Oh defeat! Why must you show your ugly face? Why must I die here, Lying in a muddy ditch? I was supposed to be in a plane, heading home to my love! She awaits me with a tender smile, I can see it now. Who will tell her of my misfortune? Who will wipe her crying eyes? Who will kiss her ruby lips? Who will feed my cat and rub her warm belly? My comrades are gone and I’m lost behind enemy lines.

The tattered flag wrapped around my shoulders keeps me from freezing to death. How vain and ridiculous! Lord take me now so that I may not waste any more good air on my final breaths! When I reach your pearly gates we can laugh and sing songs about war!

Until then I remain your humble servant,

Field General Wali Wallace

Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson (b. 1999, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Derek Eller Gallery in New York, Tiwani Contemporary in London, and Fergus McCaffrey in St. Barth. His works has been featured in recent group exhibitions at Palo Gallery, New York, Fergus McCaffrey, Tokyo, and Spazio Amanita Gallery, New York. He studied at NYU Gallatin and held a residency in 2020 at Silver Art Projects Residency at 4 World Trade Center in New York City.

Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Oh, the horrors I've seen,” 2023
Oil and crayon on paper
23 ³⁄₄" x 18" [HxW] (60.33 x 45.72 cm)
Inventory #JOW1055
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Oh, the horrors I've seen." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 23 ³⁄₄" x 18" [HxW] (60.33 x 45.72 cm). Its medium is Oil and crayon on paper.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Into The Distance I Gaze, Bringing a Silver Spyglass To My Face,” 2023
Oil on canvas
40" x 30" [HxW] (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Inventory #JOW1020
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Into The Distance I Gaze, Bringing a Silver Spyglass To My Face." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 40" x 30" [HxW] (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Its medium is Oil on canvas.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Our Masked Hero Riding “A Gut Feeling” Holding A Pitchfork,” 2023
Oil on linen
76" x 62" [HxW] (193.04 x 157.48 cm)
Inventory #JOW1013
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Our Masked Hero Riding “A Gut Feeling” Holding A Pitchfork." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 76" x 62" [HxW] (193.04 x 157.48 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“The Tug Of War,” 2023
Oil on linen
12" x 18" [HxW] (30.48 x 45.72 cm)
Inventory #JOW1023
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "The Tug Of War." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 12" x 18" [HxW] (30.48 x 45.72 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“The price of revenge!,” 2023
Oil on board
14" x 11" [HxW] (35.56 x 27.94 cm)
Inventory #JOW1028
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "The price of revenge!." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 14" x 11" [HxW] (35.56 x 27.94 cm). Its medium is Oil on board.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Our armored car,” 2023
Oil on panel
8" x 10" [HxW] (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Inventory #JOW1056
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Our armored car." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 8" x 10" [HxW] (20.32 x 25.4 cm). Its medium is Oil on panel.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Commemoration of John Henry and His Nine Pound Big Spike Hammer,” 2023
Oil on linen
98 ¹⁄₄" x 79 ¹⁄₂" [HxW] (249.56 x 201.93 cm)
Inventory #JOW1011
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Commemoration of John Henry and His Nine Pound Big Spike Hammer." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 98 ¹⁄₄" x 79 ¹⁄₂" [HxW] (249.56 x 201.93 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Utterly At War,” 2023
Oil on linen
11" x 14" [HxW] (27.94 x 35.56 cm)
Inventory #JOW1026
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Utterly At War." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 11" x 14" [HxW] (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Infantry,” 2023
Oil on linen
60" x 76" [HxW] (152.4 x 193.04 cm)
Inventory #JOW1015
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Infantry." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 60" x 76" [HxW] (152.4 x 193.04 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“We No Longer Have Eyes,” 2023
Oil on board
16" x 16" [HxW] (40.64 x 40.64 cm)
Inventory #JOW1024
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "We No Longer Have Eyes." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 16" x 16" [HxW] (40.64 x 40.64 cm). Its medium is Oil on board.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“The Mission Council,” 2023
Oil on linen
76 ¹⁄₄" x 101" [HxW] (193.67 x 256.54 cm)
Inventory #JOW1012
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "The Mission Council." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 76 ¹⁄₄" x 101" [HxW] (193.67 x 256.54 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“William,” 2023
Oil on linen
16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
Inventory #JOW1031
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "William." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Briefing,” 2023
Oil on linen
76" x 62" [HxW] (193.04 x 157.48 cm)
Inventory #JOW1014
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Briefing." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 76" x 62" [HxW] (193.04 x 157.48 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Hard Hat, Tote Sack, Dagger and Spike Bat,” 2023
Oil on linen
14" x 11" [HxW] (35.56 x 27.94 cm)
Inventory #JOW1025
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Hard Hat, Tote Sack, Dagger and Spike Bat." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 14" x 11" [HxW] (35.56 x 27.94 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Fraternity,” 2023
Oil on linen
60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm)
Inventory #JOW1019
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Fraternity." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“The Sinking of a Battleship,” 2023
Oil on linen
60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm)
Inventory #JOW1018
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "The Sinking of a Battleship." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Head Of Soldier,” 2023
Oil on linen
60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm)
Inventory #JOW1017
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Head Of Soldier." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 60" x 48" [HxW] (152.4 x 121.92 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Mountaineers Unit,” 2023
Oil on linen
78 ¹⁄₂" x 124" [HxW] (199.39 x 314.95 cm)
Inventory #JOW1010
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Mountaineers Unit." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 78 ¹⁄₂" x 124" [HxW] (199.39 x 314.95 cm). Its medium is Oil on linen.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Damage To An Armored Car,” 2023
Oil on board
11" x 14" [HxW] (27.94 x 35.56 cm)
Inventory #JOW1027
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Damage To An Armored Car." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 11" x 14" [HxW] (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Its medium is Oil on board.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Snipers Ode,” 2023
Oil on panel
16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
Inventory #JOW1022
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Snipers Ode." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm). Its medium is Oil on panel.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Journeymen On A Barge,” 2023
Oil on panel
16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
Inventory #JOW1021
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Journeymen On A Barge." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 16" x 20" [HxW] (40.64 x 50.8 cm). Its medium is Oil on panel.
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson
“Carrier,” 2023
Oil on board
8" x 10" [HxW] (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Inventory #JOW1029
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
This image depicts an artwork by Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson titled "Carrier." This artwork was created in 2023 and measures 8" x 10" [HxW] (20.32 x 25.4 cm). Its medium is Oil on board.