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Nelson Makamo turns his Porsche 911 into a moving canvas

23 August 2021 - 12:50 By Staff Writer
Hand-painted selected components include the rear bumper.
Hand-painted selected components include the rear bumper.
Image: Supplied

World-renowned South African visual artist Nelson Makamo has given his new Porsche a personal artistic touch.

Makamo, whose work has featured on the cover of Time Magazine under the banner, ‘The art of optimism — 34 people who are changing how we see the world’, chose his new 911 Carrera Coupé as one of his latest personal canvases.

After being captivated by the iconic rear-engine sports car while growing up in rural Modimolle, Limpopo in the 1980s, Makamo dreamed that he would hold the keys to his own Porsche 911 one day.

Nelson Makamo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nelson Makamo. Picture: SUPPLIED

That day arrived after a chance encounter with a modern version of a Porsche 911 during a residency in Franschhoek, Western Cape reminded him of his childhood dream. Makamo ordered a Jet Black Metallic 911 Carrera Coupé and set about personalising his car into a moving canvas.

At his Johannesburg studio, Makamo hand-painted selected components and panels of the car, before returning them to Porsche Centre Johannesburg for final lacquer coating and fitting. These elements included the rear bumper, front seat mouldings, door panel inserts and handles, dash panel inserts, park brake console and side mirror covers.

The left side door panel insert bears a personal inscription ‘Mma’. These three letters mean ‘Mother’ in Makamo’s home language of Sepedi. This is the first time he has mentioned his mother on an artwork.

The interior is livened up with the artist’s special touch. Picture: SUPPLIED
The interior is livened up with the artist’s special touch. Picture: SUPPLIED

Makamo said the project, titled ‘My Life in Motion,’ is not just a representation of his success, but also of various people he has encountered throughout his life: “I always knew I was going to own a Porsche, I just never knew that my relationship with the brand would start this way — and it’s only the beginning.”

Toby Venter, CEO of Porsche SA, said the project has provided great motivation.

“Working with Nelson Makamo has been inspirational and this commission is on a level we’ve never seen before. This is a truly bespoke art installation worthy of any gallery,” he said.

“In addition, it illustrates the lengths Porsche SA will go to; the creativity and flexibility of our team to accommodate a request as personal as this. Porsche customers have a virtually endless array of options available through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur to make their Porsche completely individual, but then when a unique customer such as Nelson chooses to do something extraordinary, we are delighted to accommodate his wishes.”


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