(1982 – )

Nelson Makamo

Nelson Makamo is a Johannesburg based artist. He was born in 1982, in a town called Modimolle, in South Africa’s Limpopo province. Born with an astounding artistic aptitude he honed his craft at Artist Proof Studios in Johannesburg where he studied print making for 3 years.

Makamo has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in South Africa, France, Italy, America, Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Germany, Amsterdam and Scotland. His first solo exhibition,’Walk with Me’, was held at the Obert Contemporary Gallery in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. His most notable group exhibition was alongside established South African artists in Ten Years of Printmaking: David Krut Print Studio in 2006. Invited artists included David Koloane, Colbert Mashile, Deborah Bell and William Kentridge.

Nelson’s work is strongly influenced by the candid innocence 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. He 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. His travels have allowed him the opportunity to exhibit in various locations around the world. UTS gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, Somma Lombardo business and art exhibition, Italy, Leiden in the Netherlands and Everard read in Johannesburg.

Makamo’s work forms part of a few collections such as those of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Ava Duvarney and Kelly Rowland – other fans and collectors of Makamo’s works are basketball player, Carmelo Anthony, music producer Swizz Beatz, fashion icon Georgio Armani and singer Annie Lennox amongst others, TELKOM, Hanzehof Zutphense KunstCollectis.

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.


Solo Exhibitions



BLUE, Los Angeles, USA.

Fortitude, Makasiini Contemporary, Turku, Finland.

Human Grace – Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa.



Botho, Motho, Batho – Johannesburg, South Africa.






I Am the Soul of Azania, Gallery of African Art, GAFRA, London England



Dipolelo Exhibition, Paris, France

Everard Read Cape Town, South Africa



New Works, CIRCA Johannesburg, South Africa



Generations, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

A New Lease on Life, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa



Salon 91, Cape Town



Museum Africa, Johannesburg



Movement, Factory Gallery



Sharing Realities II, African Studies Centre, Leiden, Netherland

Walk with Me, UTS Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

A Place I Call Home, Gallery on the Square, Johannesburg



Moving into the Light, KZNSA Gallery, Durban

Sharing Realities, Gallery Izarte, Zutphen, Netherlands



Walk with Me, Obert Contemporary Art Gallery, Johannesburg




Group Exhibitions



Emancipate Immigration, AKAA, Lyon France.



Say It Loud, Christies, NYC USA.



AKAA, France.



No Commission Dean Collection Berlin Germany, Krafwerk Rummelsberg

Salon Zurcher Africa Art Fair, Zurcher Gallery, New York, USA



Post It, Constitution Hill, Group Exhibition, Johannesburg, South Africa

Opening Gallery Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery, London, UK



1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, CIRCA Gallery Booth, London, UK

WINTER, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.



FNB Joburg Art Fair,Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa



Art Angels, Ellerman House Charity Auctions



Figuring Differences, curated by Andrew Lamprecht, Salon 91, Cape Town

21 Year Celebration of Artist Proof Studios at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.



Young Contemporaries, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris, France

My City, Arts on Main, Johannesburg



City Link, Gallery 23, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Gallery on the Square, Sandton, Johannesburg



Cultural and Business Art Exhibition, Somma Lombardo, Italy

Making Identity, The Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg



Ten Years of Print Making, David Krut Print Studios, Johannsburg

Student and Staff Artists Proof Studio Exhibition, Gallery on the Square, Johannesburg.



Student and Staff Artists Proof Studio Exhibition, Wits Substation Gallery

Print Marathon, RAU Art Gallery, Johannesburg

Print Marathon, Boston (USA)

  • Kodd Magazine (2016), Dipolelo Exhibition
  • DESTINY Magazine (2016)
  • Mail & Gaurdian (2016), Kwanele Sosibo Rural Boy Made Good
  • Kritziner, N. (2014) Nelson Makamo, Everard Read Catalogue
  • Turbine Art Fair (2013) Classic Feel Magazine
  • Zvomuya P. and Larsons, S. (2013) The August House that Fosters Art. Mail & Guardian online.
  • Hamilton, N. (2012) Nelson Makamo, the well-travelled artist exhibition in Johannesburg, Homeless Talk.
  • New ehibition coming of age – Artist Proof Studio turns 21 (2012) House and Leisure.
  • Thepa, M. (2011) Visual Art Pushing the Boundaries, the New Age
  • Lebitse, P. (2010) My Work is my life, pain and joy
  • Sowetan (2010), the Arts section, Street Art, True Love, p 90
  • Hengen, E. (2010) Das Wahre Gesicht Suidafrokas, Tageblatt, p 18
  • Zvomuya, P. (2010) Jozi for the alienated,
  • Mail & Gaurdian (2010), p 6
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