Nelson Makamo is based in Johannesburg. Born in 1982, in a town called Modimolle, in South Africa’s Limpopo province. Gifted with an astounding artistic aptitude in drawing and painting. He honed his craft at Artist Proof Studios in Johannesburg where he studied print making.
Makamo has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in South Africa, Europe, England and the US. He has shown in group shows alongside other South African artists including David Koloane, Colbert Mashile, Deborah Bell and William Kentridge.
Nelson’s work is strongly influenced by the candid innocents of children. He is particularly drawn to children in rural South Africa, he believes that they embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all, we are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life through a child’s perspective.
In order to portray his vision of society, Nelson Makamo is going through a process of observation that precedes his plastic work. This process, essential in his creation, allows him to immerse himself into the usual and the exceptional of the new South African generation. He has evolved his scope of experience so did his medium of expression, namely charcoal, acrylic, water colours, mono-types, silk screen and oil paintings.
He refrains from planning his pieces and opts rather for the canvas and days inspiration
to lead him. Makamo’s enduring portraits have found a special place in collectors hearts, and speaks to something familiar that resides in all of us.
Makamo’s work forms part of a few collections such as those of fashion icon Giorgio Armani, musician Annie Lennox, Hanzehof Zutphense Kunst Collectis, DJ Black Coffee, Swizz Beatz, Oprah Winfrey, Ava Duvernay just to name a few.
Nelson currently works as a full time artist from his studio in the heart of the city of joburg. A space he deems to be the most sacred place in the world. His most recent achievement is one of his artwork gracing the special edition TIME magazine optmist issue cover, guest edited by acclaimend film director Ava Duvernay.