Americo Makk was an internationally acclaimed master painter, and portrait artist of two United States Presidents. He used a unique personal blend of impressionism and realism to create his signature style, which is evident in the legacy he left behind. His wide array of paintings include, but are certainly not limited to, powerful scenes of city life, character studies, western paintings, and historical depictions.
Over the past six decades, the importance of Americo Makk’s work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the American Ecclesiastic Award, European Banner of the Arts, Oscar d’Italia, Alfred Nobel Medal for Peace from the Einstein International Academy Foundation, and Outstanding Achievement Award for Western Paintings from the American Biographical Institute.
In 2013 he was awarded a Gold Medal from the Hungarian Prime Minister for his donation of 13 murals accurately depicting Hungarian history, personally given to him in Hawaiꞌi by the Consul General.
Paintings by Americo have been the focus of major public exhibitions, including the U.S. Senate Rotunda in Washington, D.C., and Carnegie International Center in New York. His work has also been exhibited in numerous other galleries and museums spanning the United States, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Monaco, Hungary, Brazil, Canada, and Japan.
A highly respected portrait artist, Americo was selected to paint a portrait of President Jimmy Carter in 1979, which was personally presented by Governor Ariyoshi as a gift from the State of Hawaiꞌi; he was also selected to paint a portrait of President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and presented it to him in the Oval Office. Both portraits hang in the respective presidential libraries. Other acclaimed portraits by Americo include a portrait of Cardinal Mindszenty for the Vatican, and many celebrities including actresses Eva Gabor and Barbara Carrera, and musician Ray Price, as well as CEO’s and Makk collectors. CEO, R.J. Pfeiffer of Alexander and Baldwin, loved his portrait by Americo!
Americo was born in Hungary in 1927. His formal training began at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art in Budapest. He received a scholarship to Italy, and while studying at the Academy of Fine Art in Rome he met his future wife, Eva, a fellow artist at the academy. The couple moved to Brazil in 1950, where they were appointed Professors of Art at the Sao Paulo Academy of Fine Art, and later were named Official Artists of the Brazilian Government. Among their many commissions was an unprecedented expedition deep into the Amazon rain forest to paint the indigenous tribal people - many of the tribes now no longer exist.
Together with his wife Eva Makk, Americo painted large murals in sixteen cathedrals and churches on two continents; One of the murals being the largest single-themed ecclesiastical painting in the world – stretching half a football field in length (28, 800 ft²), on the ceiling of a 150 year old Cathedral in Manaus, Brazil.
In 1962 Eva and Americo moved to New York with their son A.B., and in 1967 they settled in Hawaiꞌi, where their current home and studio are located.
Americo is survived by his wife Eva, his son A.B., his daughter-in-law Sylvia, and his granddaughter Alexandra.