South African Artist makes history with artwork on cover of TIME magazine

Nelson Makamo is a young South African artist whose work has made it on the latest edition of the giant publication, Time magazine. His painting of his 11-year-old cousin is on the latest cover of  Time’s “Optimists issue.” Makamo talked about creating the artwork saying, “It scared me because, even though I’ve been working for a long time, it felt like a debut.”

According to Time, this edition is a special issue and has been guest-edited by award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Nelson’s work has been appreciated before by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and her friend Gayle King.

“A Wrinkle In Time” film producer Ava DuVernay had previously purchased a piece of painting from Nelson and she went back to Johannesburg recently to get another piece before Time Magazine commissioned this piece.


Nelson spoke about optimism saying, “…in life, we sometimes forget there’s beauty in being a human being…but children are just discovering that.”  According to the local South African press, Nelson’s work has quite the impact.” Nelson’s paintings are the embodiment of optimism as he tends to depict children from the rural areas who are a symbol of hope and a bright future for South Africa.


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