Nelson Makamo’s unique works of art that depict the youths and people of South Africa in brightly-coloured paintings have reached the hearts of those around the world and even earned him a place on the front cover of TIME Magazine.

The renowned artist, from Modimolle, Limpopo, is now based in Johannesburg, and his paintings attract buyers from across the world. Makamo’s works are owned by the likes of fashion icon Georgio Armani, singer Annie Lennox and film director Ava Duvenay, to name but a few.

Nelson’s work is strongly influenced by the candid innocence of children and the way in which they view the world. He draws inspiration particularly from children in rural South Africa, who he believes embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life.

As his works have evolved so has his medium of expression, and Makamo incorporates charcoal, acrylic, watercolour, mono-types, and silk screen prints into his oil paintings.

As an artist he refrains from planning his pieces, opting rather for the canvas and day’s inspiration to lead his paintbrush. His travels have allowed him the opportunity to exhibit his works in various locations around the world, including the UTS gallery in Edingburgh, Scotland, Somma Lombardo business and art exhibition, Italy Leiden in the Netherlands, and Everard Read in Johannesburg.

Nelson currently works as a full-time artist from his Johannesburg studio, a space he deems to be the most sacred place in the world to him.

The vivid message and depictions Nelson transfers onto canvas are striking and packed with emotion. Each work differs from the one before, but all carry a common theme.

Bright colours mix into one another and fill out the beautifully-painted outlines of the human form which are strikingly realistic.

Nelson even had the pleasure of having his studio visited by the one and only Oprah Winfrey. It’s clear that many more great things are in store for this amazing local artist.


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So humbled, what a blessing! #Naledi @oprah @ava @gayleking @kirbybump

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