2nd Jun, 2019 9:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 5
Lot 5 - Nelson Makamo (South Africa 1982-)


Nelson Makamo (South Africa 1982-)
Girl seated on a television

oil, pastel and charcoal on paper

Artwork date: 2014
Signature details: signed and dated bottom left

Sold for R204,840
Estimated at R160,000 - R200,000


oil, pastel and charcoal on paper

Artwork date: 2014
Signature details: signed and dated bottom left


160 x 121 cm


Young, Johannesburg-based artist Nelson Makamo hit global headlines earlier this year. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, guest editor of Time Magazine’s 2019 ‘Optimists’ issue, selected one of his timeless depictions of children, an oil on canvas titled Visions of a limitless future, as the cover image for the magazine.The breakthrough catapulted Makamo into the global collecting spotlight. With a bright talent visible from his early years in rural Limpopo, and having already grown to be a highly popular artist since his debut show in Johannesburg in 2005, he has work on several international and local solo exhibitions in the course of a still-developing career. His work is remarkable too for its presence in several celebrity collections, including DuVernay, musician Annie Lennox, fashion guru Giorgio Armani, and of course he has attracted the attention of global media heavyweight Oprah Winfrey. Given this track record, he is poised to move to the next level in terms of value and collectability. Makamo’s signature subject is children, but a wide variety of human subjects interest him. His work is also notable for its skill with many different mediums, ranging from charcoal to acrylic to oils, and extending to printmaking. Makamo’s most formal education in art was his years spent at Artist Proof Studios in Joburg, learning this particular discipline, before branching out into the various works on canvas and paper that comprise his most recognisable work today.His interests as an artist revolve around human identity and the human condition: the repeated device of bespectacled children and adults, evident in the works on auction, reflects a concern with the vision people have for the future, and for a better society. Notable too is his concern with how people interact with technology, seen in the ambiguously amusing Girl seated on a television.

James Sey

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, 2nd Jun, 2019

Aspire Art Auctions presented a focused and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art in their latest sale in Johannesburg.

The company’s commitment to innovation led to a bold and signature move in this sale, which featured a special section dedicated to photography. The medium has been traditionally strong among South African artists but has been without a proper focus in the local auction market. The ground-breaking segment featured a wide range of the most important South African photographers, including Pieter Hugo, David Goldblatt, Guy Tillim, and Zanele Muholi. In addition, the sale starred a number of the market’s big signatures – Alexis Preller J.H. Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, and Maggie Laubser and top contemporary artists including, Diane Victor, and Wim Botha.


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