About Nelson Makamo


1982 in Modimolle, South Africa

Lives and Works:

Johannesburg, South Africa


Rise Art Prize - Award for Drawing, Rise Art, London, United Kingdom, 2018

About the artist

NELSON MAKAMO| b. 1982 Modimolle, Limpopo

Johannesburg based Artist Nelson Makamo is best known for his charcoal and oil paintings that redresses decades of images that have portrayed African children in destitute. Makamo’s career spans sixteen years since the year he received his formal training at Artist proof studios, in Johannesburg. However, he has managed to solidify an iconic signature and a subject matter that has steadily placed him on a global stage, making him one of the worlds young and most sought after visual artists of our times.

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 to name a few.

Need to know

  • Nelson's work has been exhibited internationally, and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 2019 as an artist changing the way we see the world.
  • The artist won the Rise Art Prize 2018 award for drawing, from over 16,000 entries
  • Nelson's large-scale drawings are remarkably striking. They'd make impressive statement pieces.
Nina Mahdavi

Rise Art Prize Judge Nina Mahdavi says:

"I find Nelson's drawings both moving and flawless. I personally love drawings and find that it’s important to keep this craft alive. It brings an authenticity to the work that is often overlooked in the sea of contemporary art. "

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