One of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen’s photographs span over forty years. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own.
Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people’s doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound e ect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind.
In his artistic practice Ballen has increasingly been won over by the possibilities of integrating photography and drawing. He has expanded his repertoire and extended his visual language. By integrating drawing into his photographic and video works, the artist has not only made a lasting contribution to the field of art, but equally has made a powerful commentary about the human condition and its creative potential.
His contribution has not been limited to stills photography. Ballen has been the creator of a number of acclaimed and exhibited short films that dovetail with his photographic series’. The collaborative film I Fink You Freeky, created for the cult band Die Antwoord in 2012, has garnered over 85-million hits on YouTube.
Roger Ballen’s work is included in more then forty prestigious museum collections, among which Tate Britain, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; and Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris, to name a few. Reflex Amsterdam exclusively represents Roger Ballen’s Polaroids worldwide.
Roger BallenRequest about this work
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Berkeley Art Museum, California
Biblioteque Nationale, Paris
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Alabama, USA
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
Fotomuseum, Munchen, Germany
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, USA
Haifa Museum of Art, Israel
Hasselblad, Goteborg, Sweden
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA
Johannesburg Art Museum, South Africa
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
Louisiana Museum, Denmark
Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris
Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester. United Kingdom
Musée de la Photographie á Charleroi, Belguim
Musee de l’Elysee , Lausanne, Switzerland
Museet for Fotokunst, Denmark
Museo nazionale Della Fotographia, Brescia, Italy
Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
National Museum of Film and Photography, Bradford UK
Palm Springs Art Museum, California
Oliewenhuis, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Spencer Art Museum, Kansas, USA
State Museum of Russia, Moscow, Russia
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Tate Britain, London, UK
Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, USA
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
Roger Ballen – Polaroids, Reflex Amsterdam, 2017
Ballenesque, Roger Ballen: A Retrospective, Thames & Hudson, 2017
The Theatre of Apparitions, Thames & Hudson, 2016
Asylum of the Birds, London: Thames & Hudson, 2014.
Roger Ballen, Paris: Nathan, Photo Poche series, 2012.
Animal Abstraction, Exhibition catalogue Galerie Alex Daniels, Amsterdam: Reflex, 2011
Boarding House, London: Phaidon, 2009.
Shadow Chamber, London: Phaidon, 2005.
Fact or Fiction, Paris: Kamel Mennour, 2003, ISBN 291417109-9.
Outland, London: Phaidon, 2001.
Cette Afrique là, Paris: Nathan, Photo Poche series, 1997.
Platteland, Rivonia (ZA): William Waterman, and London: Quartet Books, 1994; New York: St. Martin’s, 1996.
Dorps: Small Towns of South Africa, Cape Town: Hirt and Carter, 1986. (Reprinted by Protea Boekhuis, 2011)
Boyhood, New York/London: Chelsea House, 1979.
Best Music Video, I Fink U Freeky, Plus Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Bydgoszcz, Poland
I Fink U Freeky. Award for best music video at the 20th Short Vila do Conde International Film Festival, Portugal, 2012
Finalist – Lucie Awards
Curator/Exhibition of the Year: Roger Ballen: Photographs 1982 – 2009. Curated by Dr. Anthony Bannon for the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.
Art Directors Club Award Photography – 2006
Selma Blair Witch Project – New York Times Magazine, October 31st 2005
Top 10 Exhibition, Matthew Higgs, Artforum-2004
Citigroup Prize, finalist, UK – 2002
Photographer of the Year, Rencontres d’ Arles – 2002
Top 10 Exhibition, Vince Aletti, Artforum – 2002
Photo Espana, Best Photographic Book of the Year, Spain – 2001
Photo-eye, Best Documentary Title, Best Photography Books of 2001
Sani Festival, Best Solo Exhibition, Greece, 2000
Special mention: UNICEF Photo of the Year 2001