Nelson Makamo

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Mixed-Media Portraits by Nelson Makamo Reflect Childhood Innocence and Wonder

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson Makamo, shared with permission Nelson Makamo (previously) is known for his oversized, lively portraits of the children and teens he meets around Johannesburg. Using a distinct blend of acrylic, watercolors, monotypes, silkscreen, and oil paint, the South African artist often delineates their silhouettes with a thick line of charcoal before adding colorful details to their clothing and faces. The resulting works are simultaneously earnest and imbued with a sense of wonder. Whether posed or engaged in rowdy activities, many of the subjects sport bright, round glasses, emphasizing Makamo’s focus on viewing the world through the lens…

 

 



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Candid Charcoal and Oil Paint Portraits of South African Children by Nelson Makamo

May 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Nelson Makamo, “We are Angels with Dirty Faces,” all documentation by Andile Buka Johannesburg, South Africa-based artist Nelson Makamo (previously) uses paint and charcoal to create works that capture the candid nature of childhood. His subjects are often South African children, including his 11 year-old cousin Mapule Maoto who is commonly featured in his drawings, watercolors, monotypes, and oil paintings. The gestural pieces aim to present a child’s perspective, with playfully drawn flowers presented in the subjects’ hands or hair and big, round glasses on their faces. Recently the artist created a new piece of Maoto for the cover of…

 

 



Art

Artist Nelson Makamo's Dynamic Portraits of Johannesburg Children

September 9, 2015

Christopher Jobson

With a dizzying flurry of oil paints, watercolors, silkscreen & monotype printing techniques, charcoal, and ink, artist Nelson Makamo captures the daily life of South African children as reflected in their charismatic faces. Based in Johannesburg, Makamo prefers to refer to himself as a storyteller or narrator of what he encounters everyday. “I document each day visually because for me each day is a blessing, being able to capture movements and feelings of people who live around me.” His portraits depict hopeful faces filled with laughter and confidence, awash in spirited dashes of color. Via Salon Ninety One: Key themes…

 

 

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