Artist of The Week | Artistry

Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen was born in New York City, USA in 1950. He moved to Johannesburg, South Africa in the 1970s, where he began documenting rural landscapes and photographing inhabitants of the small villages in the late 1980s and 1990s. He has developed a format with black-and-white photography and film, and has never considered using colour or a digital camera in his work.

Ballen’s work focuses on exploring border-zones between what is natural and what is abstract. His photographic images, which are sculptural and have a painterly feel, are abstract but are assisted in the subject matter by adding an element of realism. This is evident in the heavy motifs in his work.

The constant themes in his work are abstract reflection, body parts and animals, with prominent overtones of morality, surrealistic environments, complex meanings and innovative illustrations. He is popularly known as an Imaginary Realism artist, an art movement that critics have called his own.

 

1. Roger Ballen 'Puppy between Feet' 1999

Artist of the week: Roger Ballen

Title: Puppy Between Feet – Outland

Medium: Film – Rolleiflex 24×24 camera

Year: 1998 – 1999

 

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2009

Artist of the week: Roger Ballen

Title: Man Bending Over – Outland

Medium: Film – Rolleiflex 24×24 camera

Year: 1998 – 1999