(b. 1982, Limpopo, South Africa)

In my work, I reflect on the movement of culture amongst the youth living in and around the city. My observation is that there is an exchange between people where we adopt each other’s cultures that are relevant to our respective ages. I am greatly fascinated by this, and how we in turn manage our identity with different personas. Therefore, my work aims to show that we are always changing and moving in a path of self-discovery. My work does not represent a certain group of people, it moves across cultures and generations.

Known for his vibrant portraits set in pulsating African urbanized landscapes, Nelson Makamo is a celebrated, young South African artist. Observing with astute sensitivity the chaotic energy of the city, Makamo strives to capture everyday people going about their ordinary lives as the contemporary world accelerates around them.

Joining the Artist Proof Studio (Johannesburg) in 2003, Makamo was the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson International bursary. He exhibited alongside fellow South African artists William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and David Koloane in Ten Years of Printmaking at the David Krut Print Studio in 2006. Makamo has exhibited in America, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland, and is included in various international public and private collections. His solo exhibition, A New Lease on Life, recently ran at CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg and major exhibitions of his work will take place at Everard Read, Cape Town and CIRCA Gallery London in 2016/17.


2016     Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2015     New Works, CIRCA Johannesburg, South Africa

2014     Generations, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

            A New Lease on Life, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2010     Movement, Factory gallery

2009     Sharing Realities II, African Studies Centre, Leiden, Netherlands

            Walk with Me, UTS Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

            A Place I Call Home, Gallery on the Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

2008     Moving into Light, KZNSA Gallery, Durban,

            Sharing Realities, Gallery Izarte, Zutphen, Netherlands

2005     Walk with Me, Obert Contemporary Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa


2016     Opening Gallery Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery London, UK

2015     1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, CIRCA Gallery Booth, London, UK

            FNB Jo-burg Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

            WINTER, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
2010     Young Contemporaries, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris, France

            My City, Arts on main, Johannesburg, South Africa

2009     City Link, Gallery 23, Amsterdam, Netherlands & Gallery on the Square, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007     Cultural and Business Art Exhibition, Somma Lombardo, Italy

            Making Identity, The Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2006     Ten Years of Printmaking, David Krut Print Studios,

            Johannesburg Student and Staff Artists Proof Studio Exhibition, Gallery on the Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

2003     Student and Staff Artists Proof Studio Exhibition, Wits Substation Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

            Print Marathon, RAU Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

            Print Marathon, Boston, USA


The Arts Section (2010) Street Art. True Love, pp 90

Hengen, E (2010) Das Wahre Gesicht Suidafrokas, Tageblatt, 18

Zvomuya, P. (2010) Jozi for the Alienated. Mail and Guardian, pp 6


City of Johannesburg

Matasis Investment Holdings (Company named after Mandela, Tambo and Sisulu) - Obert Gallery

Standard Chartered