Energetic Markings in Charcoal Delineate Nelson Makamo’s Candid Portraits of Childhood Joy



Art

#acrylic #charcoal #Nelson Makamo #painting #pastel #portraits

July 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal, acrylic and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed. All images courtesy of Rise Art, shared with permission

On view at Rise Art is a new body of work from South African artist Nelson Makamo, who continues his charismatic portraits rendered in lively, gestural lines of charcoal. Whether on paper or canvas, the mixed-media pieces depict children and teens, and the artist’s quick, sometimes chaotic markings echo the unfiltered immediacy of the sitters’ cheerful and contemplative emotions—prior to each portrait, he spends time learning about his subjects’ lives, their joys, and worries, a practice he finds essential for capturing such candid, honest expressions.

Makamo’s latest pieces diverge slightly from his previous works by exploring themes of togetherness. Whereas he often focuses on fragmented portrayals of solitary figures, the artist hones in on community in this new body of work, painting two children grasping hands or in the case of “Mission Possible,” a group of friends huddled in a tight cluster.

If you’re in London, head to Rise Art to see Makamo’s solo show before August 25. Otherwise, find more of his works and news about upcoming exhibitions on Instagram.

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Face Off II” (2022), oil, acrylic and pastel on paper, 89.7 x 71.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 89.7 x 71.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and pastel on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on canvas, 102.9 x 102.9 x 8.8 centimeters framed

“Untitled” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on paper, 78.2 x 63.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

“Mission Possible” (2022), charcoal and acrylic on paper, 116.3 x 87.2 x 3.5 centimeters framed

#acrylic #charcoal #Nelson Makamo #painting #pastel #portraits

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