Visions of a Limitless Future
Digital print on archival paper
Nelson Makamo is a Johannesburg-based artist. Born in 1982 in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Makamo creates vibrant portraits set in African urbanized landscapes. His work moves across cultures and generations, aiming to portray everyday people immersed in their own private journeys to self-discovery while the contemporary world accelerates around them. Makamo tends to focus on portrayals of children – in particular rural youths from South Africa - who the artist believes are uniquely equipped to see the beauty in the world through an unjaded outlook of optimism and joy.
Visions of a limitless future perfectly captures these ideals, and it is no surprise that the work has become Nelson Makamo’s signature piece. It is internationally renowned for being featured on the cover for TIME Magazine’s 2019 ‘Optimists’ special issue, setting the tone for that edition’s focus on shifting our outlook on the world towards something more hopeful. Makamo’s 11-year-old cousin Mapule Maoto inspired the portrait of a resolute young child. The two have an agreement that he will pay for her studies if she agrees to model for his colourful paintings.