‘Botho Motho Batho’: Nelson Makamo’s first solo exhibition in fifteen years

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Visions of a limitiless future, 80 x 80cm,   Mixed Media on Canvas, 2019. (Nelson Makamo)
Visions of a limitiless future, 80 x 80cm, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2019. (Nelson Makamo)
  • Born in Modimolle, Limpopo the Johannesburg based artist is best known for making the large-scale charcoal and oil portraits.
  • To celebrate his fifteen years as an artist, the internationally acclaimed artist is having his first solo showcase since 2005.
  • The show will take place from 14 November 2020 to January 2021.


To celebrate his fifteen-year career span as an artist, internationally acclaimed Nelson Makamo is having his first solo showcase since 2005. 

Born in Modimolle, Limpopo the Johannesburg based artist is best known for making the large-scale charcoal and oil portraits to subvert images that have for decades portrayed African children as destitute. Taking place in 2005, his introductory exhibition took place at the Obert Art Gallery in Melrose Arch. 

In addition to exhibiting in group shows at home, Makamo’s work has been shown in the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland. In addition to being featured in publications like Vogue, his work sits in a number of public and private collections including those owned by the City of Johannesburg, Standard Chartered, Georgio Armani, Werksmans Attorneys, Rand Merchant Bank, Telkom and Oprah Winfrey. 

Titled Botho Motho Batho, the show is inspired by his travels through the African continent. The show’s work becomes a space for him to imagine and interrogate humanity while considering the socio-political ideologies that govern our navigation. While there are endless ways to perceive these ideologies, Makamo focuses on urbanism, migration, community and life expectancy in the context of post-colonial and neo-colonial Africa. 

Using acrylic, watercolour, oil and charcoal the artist’s predominantly communicates this by capturing the mundane through portraiture or figurative visualisations. To capture the mundane, the artist’s process sees him oscillating between moments of deep isolation and intense observation while he paints.  

The show will take place from 14 November 2020 to January 2021 at the Botho Project Space. For more information visit www.bothoprojectspace.com

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