Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen

//It is difficult to explain this place, except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people’s mind.//

Roger Ballen [1950] was born in New York, and has lived and worked in South Africa since the late 1970´s. His mother worked as a photo editor at Magnum Photo Agency, New York, and as a teenager Ballen befriended the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, and Elliott Erwitt.

For many years Ballen worked as a geologist while documenting the small villages of rural South Africa and their isolated inhabitants. His distinctive style has evolved from a documentary approach to something more abstract, metaphoric and introspective. Over the years he has developed his own private visual universe – combining photography, sculpture, films and installations. He describes his work as fundamentally psychological and existential; making art is an exercise in defining himself.

Mr Ballen’s work has been shown in important institutions throughout the world and is represented in many museum collections, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Tate, London, England and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA. He has published 12 books since 1982. Fotografiska presented his work in a solo show, Spring 2014. The exhibition ‘Roger Ballen´s Theater of the Absurd’ was curated by PUG. A limited edition catalogue ‘Roger Ballen´s Theater of the Absurd’ with an essay by the italian art critic Didi Bozzini accompanies the exhibition.


A selection of Mr Ballens photographs is presented below. Please contact us for information on prices and availability.