Meet Nelson Makamo, a humble but talented painter from Limpopo whose work has been featured on the lauded Time Magazine cover. Nelson’s paintings are inspired by his bright young cousin, Mapule Maoto who models his work.
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Nelson’s work is featured on Time Magazine’s Optimist issue. The issue is a showcase of artistic talent and is even guest edited by Ava DuVernay, a filmmaker and fan of the talented artist. In 2017, she purchased pieces by Nelson.
Nelson’s paintings are the embodiment of optimism as he he tends to depict children from the rural areas who are a symbol of hope and a bright future for South Africa, Briefly.co.za found.
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The Time cover is the first magazine cover that Nelson has illustrated. Nelson was overjoyed at the opportunity to debut his talents on the international stage but understandably also a little nervous. He thoughtfully constructed an oil painting that he believed would be easy for any person, regardless of their background, to relate to.
Nelson spent four months on the piece entitled, “Vision of a limitless future.”
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Nelson has had major success with his charcoal portraits of young people that is inspired by his life in Mzansi. He says he is more concerned with capturing the vision of someone he has in a particular moment, than in capturing their likeness. The personal interactions he has with people is thus a huge inspiration.
Growing up in a small town in Limpopo had a significant influence on Nelson’s style and experience as an artist. He now has a studio in Johannesburg.
He is a dynamic artist and believes he needs to grow as his muse, Mapule grows.
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