The fascinating work of South African Artist Nelson Makamo

Article by Hollywood London Senior Reporter : Gordon Radley : Broadcaster


Nelson Makamo pictured with renowned fashion designer Julien MacDonald at GAFRA (Gallery  of African Art) London – Souls of Azania Exhibition

Nelson Makamo was born in Limpopo province on the eastern side of South Africa. Like countless young South Africans he moved to Johannesburg in 2003 to pursue his studies and his dreams of becoming an artist. A lot of his work is deeply expressionistic and he has talked of the “instant magic’ from using his hands. Even though his background was in printmaking, it’s his mixed-media drawings which are his artistic signature, such as using charcoal dust with an eraser rather than brushstroke. As well as charcoal he uses oil paints, water color, silkscreen, monotype printing techniques, pen and ink.

Makamo’s fascinating draws inspiration and flourish from the rural life he treasures and the contrasts it offers in a fast changing South Africa. “A lot of the inspiration for my work comes from family,” he told a South African newspaper interviewer. “When there are family gatherings, I always make a point to sketch or photograph.” He has said that movement and the transition back and forth from rural to urban settings, have been key influences in his emerging work, as those journeys, he said, “unfolds in seconds and seconds and seconds, like prints.” Within this context he has explored the horrors migrant labourers face and challenged the mythologized notions about what success in the city really means and the price many must pay.

Makamo boasts an impressive resume, having exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in South Africa, France, Italy, America, Netherlands and Scotland. His art has often been focused on portraiture and is strongly influenced by the daily life of South Africans.

Some of his important commissioned works include portraits of ANC stalwarts Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu as well as the late great Nelson Mandela himself. And amongst collectors of his work are fashion mogul Giorgio Armani and the music icon Annie Lennox. With the Private View Launch a success on 22nd June the London art scene is now introduced to his exciting work in the Souls of Azania Exhibition running from 23rd June – 9th September 2017 at GAFRA (Gallery of African Art), Mayfair, London, UK.

Visit now !

Gallery of African Art (GAFRA)
45 Albemarle St. London, W1S 4JL



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s