Nelson Makamo, Dark Comprehension, 2017, Acrylic, pastels and charcoal on paper, 160 x 120 cm. Courtesy the Gallery of African Art (GAFRA)
Nelson Makamo, Dark Comprehension, 2017, Acrylic, pastels and charcoal on paper, 160 x 120 cm. Courtesy the Gallery of African Art (GAFRA)  

Known for his vibrant portraits set in pulsating African urbanised landscapes, Nelson Makamo is a storyteller of lives within the urban sprawl. Observing the chaotic energy typical of cities with an astute sensitivity, Makamo captures humanity’s routine in an accelerating contemporary world. Makamo joined the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg in 2003 and was the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson International Bursary in 2005.

He was exhibited alongside fellow South African artists William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and David Koloane in Ten Years of Printmaking at David Krut Print Studio in Johannesburg in 2006, and has since exhibited in the US, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. Solo exhibitions include A New Lease on Life, Everard Read, Johannesburg (2014) and Souls of Azania, Gallery of African Art (GAFRA), London (2017). Some of his most notable commissioned works include portraits of ANC stalwarts Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. Amongst public and private collectors of his work are Giorgio Armani and Annie Lennox.