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Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)
Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)
Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)
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Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)
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Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)

Untitled, from Blue Series

Nelson Makamo (B. 1982, Modimolle, Limpopo, South Africa)
Untitled, from Blue Series
Mixed media on canvas
78.7 x 59 in. (200 x 150 cm.)
Executed in 2020.


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Celine Cunha
Celine Cunha

Lot Essay

Amid covid-19 global outbreak, South Africa witnessed yet another wave of gender based violence and femicide cases, police brutality and a killing of a young black man in the hands of the South African defence force, whilst in America, violence against black women and men sparked yet another global uprising… #BlacklivesMatter.
Nelson Makamo’s work has always depicted a sense of desire for freedom of existence, a freedom which is seem foreign for the majority of black and brown communities across the world - due to both the systematic and direct violence that the black community is experiencing across the world today. Home sick at home and Blue, are some of the themes that Makamo is deeply exploring in his studio at the moment, by creating figures that inspire and disseminate optimism during these trying times for black communities globally.

B. 1982, Modimolle, South Africa
Johannesburg based Artist Nelson Makamo is best known for his charcoal and oil paintings of young women, men and children who are redressing decades of images that have perpetuated the stereotype that African people are destitute. For approximately sixteen years since he received his formal training at Artist Proof studios in Johannesburg, Makamo has been committed to distracting that demeaning image by portraying African people in a manner that reverses these stereotype.
Makamo’s subject matter and artistry has steadily placed him on a global stage, making him one of Africa’s young and most sought after visual artists of our times. In 2019, Makamo was commissioned for the cover of TIME magazine for the February issue, guest edited by Hollywood film director Ava DuVernay.
Makamo has exhibited in Cape Town, Johannesburg, America, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland. His work is featured in prestigious public and private collections, including City of Johannesburg, Oprah Winfrey, Standard Chartered, Matasis Investment Holdings, The Dean Collection, Georgio Armani, Hanzehof Zuphense Kunst Collection, Black Coffee and Telkom South Africa to name a few.

2019 Vanguard award, Harvard African student’s association
2019 Gauteng Premier’s Honorary Award

Nelson Makamo’s first US solo exhibition is scheduled for fall 2021.
2019 Nelson Makamo in Paris, Loo & Lou, Paris, France
2017 Souls Of Azania, Gallery of African Art, London, United Kingdom
2016 Re-awakening Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2015 New Works, Circa gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014 Generations, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2010 Movement, Bag factory gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2009 Sharing Realities II, African Studies Centre, Leiden, Netherlands
Walk With Me, UTS gallery, Eidingurgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
A Place called home, Gallery on Square, Johannesburg, South Africa
2008 Moving into light, Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
Sharing realities, Gallery Izarte, Zutphen, Netherlands
2005 Walk with me, Obert contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa
2001 Gauteng, South Africa.

2020 Tiny Show, Everard Read Johannesburg, South Africa
2018 Afro Recontres Avec Afriques, France
2017 Salon Zurcher Africa, New York, USA
2016 Opening Gallery Exhibition, Circa gallery, United Kingdom
2010 Young Contemporaries, Gallery Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris, France
My City, Arts On Main, Johannesburg, South Africa
2009 City Link, Gallery 23, Amsterdam, Netherlands & Gallery on the Square,
Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007 Cultural and Business Art Exhibition, Somma Lombardo, Italy
Making Identity, The Thompson gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 Ten years of print making, David Krut printing studios, Johannesburg, South Africa
2003 Students and Staff, Artist proof studio exhibition, Wits substation Johannesburg, South Africa
Africa Print Marathon, Boston, USA

2019 Art x Lagos, Everard Read gallery both, Lagos, Nigeria
AKAA, Botho Projects booth, Paris
2015 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, London, Circa gallery booth.
FNB Joburg Art Fair, Everard Read gallery booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

Time Magazine, cover story.
The Arts Section (2010) Street Art, True Love. P 90
Hengen, E (2010) Das Wahre Gesicht Suidafrokas, Tageblatt, 18
Zvomuya, P. (2010) Jozi for the Alienated, Mail, p 6
City Of Johannesburg, Matasis investment Holdings, Obert Gallery, Standard Chartered, Telcom, Unisa, Oprah Winfrey, The Dean Collection

Instagram: @nelsonmakamo

Courtesy the artist and
Destinee Ross-Sutton & Associates
Art Curation, Advisory and Management
Instagram : @desti.knee

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