Makamo is particularly talented at portraying childhood; the myriad numbers existing in the face of crazy social probabilities, who are able to keep moving and operating in such an existence in any case intrigue his work.
The latest painting that Mapule has inspired is Makamo’s cover for TIME’s 2019 Optimists issue, guest edited by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Optimism is a natural fit for Makamo’s work, which has for several years largely focused on young children from rural South Africa.
He expresses that it felt scary when he was approached by TIME, but also saw this as great opportunity to show off his work. “It scared me because, even though I’ve been working for a long time, it felt like a debut,” he told TIME.
He got the international recognition from the likes of Ava DuVernay (guest editor) who has bought a piece, Oprah Winfrey, Swiss Beatz and Carmelo Anthony to name a few.
Makamo mainly with portraiture and titles allude to everyday experiences and fleeting moments. His monotypes make use of “ghost” printing, which is when a second print is made from the left-over ink from the first pull. The result is much more translucent and can be worked into more than before.
Makamo is also working together with Black Coffee and Laduma Ngxokolo bringing together a Fashion, Art, Music Academy (FAM).