Nelson Makamo was born in Nylstroom (now Modimolle) in Limpopo province, in 1982.He completed his matric at Modimolle High School,then after he started working on his own towards exhibitions in Modimolle, Waterberg and the National Limpopo Art exhibition. In January 2003 he joined the Artist Proof Studio. He received a Johnson & Johnson bursary and the Pinpointone Human Resources scholarship for the year in 2005.
He received his certificate in Advanced Professional Printmaking and since then he has been involved full time in Artist Proof Studio gallery as marketing and sales administrator as well as helping oversee the daily running’s of the Studio.First glance at Nelson’s work I was instantly moved,different offering in the Arts.His own take of what Art is to him&how its influencing&influenced his work.Makamo strives to communicate a universal experience, which viewers can relate to and access through his artwork.
He has exhibited at the Ten Years of Printmaking: David Krut Print Studio in 2006.Artists that attended where William Kentridge, David Koloane, Colbert Mashile and Deborah Bell.To add onto his achievements he exhibited at the gallery on the square in the artist proof studio annual exhibition for artists and students.
In 2005 he had his first solo exhibition at the Obert Contemporary Art Gallery in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. Amazing exhibition that was,the talent that Mr Makamo upholds is phenomenal. Nelson has also been commissioned to do work for presentation purposes, presented to the Mayor of Pretoria and 10 paintings were commissioned for Lekas Lekalakala’s Chamber.
“…currently, my work reflects everyday life situations and observations of people who work in and around Johannesburg.” Nelson Makamo stated.
Makamo has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in South Africa, France, Italy, America, Netherlands, Amsterdam and Scotland.Makamo’s magical work forms part of a few collections such as those of fashion mogul Georgio Armani and musician Annie Lenoz. I bow for Nelson.
QUOTES BY NELSON MAKAMO IN RELATION TO HIS WORK.
“My work is inspired by my existence, by the fact that I can wake up everyday and see the movement around me”.
“In my work, I reflect on the movement of culture amongst the youth living in and around the city. What I mean by this is that we adopt different cultures that pertain to our different ages, and we are constantly performing those cultures. I am greatly fascinated by being/existence, and the movement between different personas . I also explore the ability to pass through different stages of life. My work therefore does not represent a certain group of people, it actually goes across. I use emotive mark making which symbolizes movement. Lines are the most important thing in my work. I use line to give my work life and to represent motion”
“One of the running motifs in my work is that of people walking away. Perhaps this is linked to the responsibilities I spoke of earlier. We are always walking away from everything that we face”.
“My subject matter consists of numerous young boys, as well as young male adults. This is because they reflect a stage in life which I have passed through. So, I feel that I can reflect better on their issues as I have experienced them. I give a lot of wisdom to the young boys that I portrays. This can be seen in their facial expressions, which I believe tell a lot about a person. However, I try not to make my work too personal. What ever I share could have been experienced by someone else. As a result, anybody can relate to my work. I am very proud of that. It opens the work to interpretation”.
“I do a lot of portraits. There is something that draws to me to facial expressions. They reflect so much about a person their mood, their character etc. That is one of the ways that you can know someone. We can discern what relationships we have with people through our body language, and out of all of these, therefore determine the kinds of relationships I have with them”.
“I work in a number of media- watercolour, pen and ink, monotype, silkscreen, charcoal drawing, painting (oil). I enjoy manipulating my medium and making it seem something other than what it is. Sometimes people mistaken my oil paintings for monotypes and my silkscreen could easily pass for ink on paper drawings.
The common colours that you will find in my work are red and blue. They are very symbolic. I do use red not to symbolize danger, but rather as an emotive colour that provokes people’s feelings”.
I truly love and appreciate your artwork Mr. Makamo, unique, diverse and appeals to a wider audience. I love the energy and dedication you put to make the end result amazing. Keep on shining and know that you are an inspiration to other young artists.
Interaction with Nelson Makamo
Facebook: Nelson Makamo