Roger Ballen (NYC, USA, 1950) is deemed to be one of the most essential photographers of the 21st century. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is being collected by institutions like MOMA, Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou, Maison Européene de la Photographie, and Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi. Son of a photograph editor at Magnum, Roger has worked as a geologist and mine consultant before launching his own photographic career, documenting small towns in rural Africa and their isolated inhabitants. Their images are, at the same time, powerful social allegations and disturbing psychological studies. Roger’s work “Outland” was considered one of the most extraordinary photographical documents at the end of the 20th century. His recognizable photographic style has evolved using simply a square format and a black and white color scheme, to colour and collaborative projects with other artists. His first works have a clear influence of documental photography, but during the 90’s, he developed a style that he described as “documentary fiction”.
“Roger Ballen in Color” presents, after shooting exclusively in B&W for over fifty years, color images from this important and original photographer. The photographs were all created since 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, in an environment that best can be described as “Ballenesque”. We also present his new drawings, as a world première, that were created during the lockdown of the COVID-19.
Roger was selected to exhibit at the South African Pavilion of the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022.
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