South African Artist Nelson Makamo’s Painting is the Cover of TIME’s Latest Optimists Issue

TIME magazine has shared the cover for their latest issue. One of the issue’s two covers features actress Cicely Tyson, and the second one features a painting by popular South African painter Nelson Makamo. The portrait, titled Visions of a limitless future, was revealed on Thursday by the magazine as part of the second “optimists issue.”

Makamo, is a 36-year-old, Johannesburg based artist who was born in Limpopo and his work has been featured in various locations around the world. The seasoned and award-winning fine artist, told TIME Magazine e had never produced a magazine cover before in his career.

It scared me because, even though I’ve been working for a long time, it felt like a debut,” said Makamo, as he felt this painting would introduce his work to a new international audience.

Makamo says he knew he wanted a painting of a child for the cover because it’s “something everyone can relate to.”

The current issue of TIME is one of many previous ones themed “Optimists,” as it sheds the light on 34 people who are changing how we see the world. The issue is guest-edited by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. She has been in touch with Makamo since 2017. Their relationship started when she bought a piece by Makamo at an auction. In December, she visited Makamo’s studio and bought another piece from him.


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