Nelson Makamo



In my work, I reflect on the movement of culture amongst the youth living in and around the city. My observation is that there is an exchange between people where we adopt each other’s cultures that are relevant to our respective ages. I am greatly fascinated by this, and how we in turn manage our identity with different personas. Therefore, my work aims to show that we are always changing and moving in a path of self-discovery. My work does not represent a certain group of people, it moves across cultures and generations.


Known for his vibrant portraits set in pulsating African urbanized landscapes, Nelson Makamo is a celebrated, young South African artist. Observing with astute sensitivity the chaotic energy of the city, Makamo strives to capture everyday people going about their ordinary lives as the contemporary world accelerates around them.


Joining the Artist Proof Studio (Johannesburg) in 2003, Makamo was the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson International bursary. He exhibited alongside fellow South African artists William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and David Koloane in Ten Years of Printmaking at the David Krut Print Studio in 2006. Makamo has exhibited in America, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland, and is included in various international public and private collections. His solo exhibition, A New Lease on Life, recently ran at CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg and major exhibitions of his work will take place at EverardRead, Cape Town and CIRCA Gallery London in 2016/17.