Roger Ballen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Roger Ballen is a photographer and artist born in New York City, New York, USA in 1950. He has lived in Johannesburg since the 1970s. Beginning by documenting the small dorps or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen starting photographing the inhabitants of these places in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[1] His fifth book 'Outland' produced by Phaidon Press in 2001 was the result.

In the fall of 2005, Phaidon press produced its second book by the artist, entitled 'Shadow Chamber'. The book focuses on interactions between people, animals, and/or objects. Ballen’s recent work enters into a new realm of photography — the images are painterly and sculptural in ways not immediately associated with photographs.[2]

Through collaboration on some of Die Antwoord's music videos, which have been viewed tens of millions of times on YouTube, Ballen's paintings and sculpture have gained broader exposure globally.[3][4] Yolandi Visser said about him: "Mr. Ballen is like, the weirdest person I've ever met in my life."[5]

Ballen's work was recently selected for a solo exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art titled Lines, Marks, and Drawings: Through the Lens of Roger Ballen.[6]


  • Asylum of the Birds, London: Thames & Hudson, 2014.
  • Roger Ballen, Photo Poche series. Paris: Nathan, 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, Photo Poche series. Paris: Nathan, 1997.
  • Platteland, Rivonia (ZA): William Waterman, and London: Quartet, 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.

Contributions to publications[edit]

  • Contatti. Provini d'Autore = Choosing the best photo by using the contact sheet. Vol. I. Edited by Giammaria De Gasperis. Rome: Postcart, 2012. ISBN 978-88-86795-87-6.


  • Art Directors Club Award Photography - 2006
  • Selma Blair Witch Project - New York Times Magazine, October 31, 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
  • PhotoEspana, 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

Museum collections[edit]

  • Berkeley Art Museum, California, USA
  • Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
  • Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
  • Durban Museum, South Africa
  • Galeria de Arte La Aurora, Murcia, Spain
  • Fotomuseum, Munchen, Germany
  • George Eastman House, Rochester NY, USA
  • Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Johannesburg Art Museum, South Africa
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
  • Louisiana Museum, Denmark
  • Maison Europene de la Photographie, Paris, France
  • Musee Nicephore Niepce, France
  • Museet for Fotokunst, Denmark
  • Musee de la Photographie a Charleroi, Belgium
  • Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
  • Museo nazionale Della Fotographia, Italy
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
  • Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Australia
  • National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Spencer Art Museum, Kansas, USA
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England


  1. ^ "Manchester City Galleries - Shadow Land: Photographs by Roger Ballen 1983-2011". 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  2. ^ "Photos with reflection on the psyche – Roger Ballen in interview | SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  3. ^ "Roger Ballen behind the scenes with Die Antwoord". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  4. ^ "Die Antwoord I Fink U Freeky". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  5. ^ Yolandi Visser (13 November 2012). Die Antwoord - "Fatty Boom Boom" - The Making Of. Noisey / YouTube. Event occurs at 3:38 until 3:54 (Yolandi talking about Ballen). Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Interview: MAD LIBS by Roger Ballen". boygirl Magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 

External links[edit]