Roger Ballen

Bio: Roger Ballen is an influential photographic artist whose work spans over forty years. Born in New York in 1950, Ballen has spent nearly 40 years living and working in South Africa, where his work as a geologist led him to explore the hidden world of small South African towns. Ballen’s photographic style uses a simple square format in stark black and white. His early work shows a connection to the tradition of documentary photography, but through the 1990s, he developed a style he calls ‘documentary fiction.’ His later work blurs the line between fantasy and reality, and he uses drawings, painting, collage, and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. Ballen’s contribution to art is not limited to stills photography. He has created several acclaimed short films, and his work has been exhibited in many countries around the world. His work is in more than 50 of the most important international museum collections. In the fall of 2022, Thames and Hudson released a new book, titled “Roger Ballen: In Retrospect,” that covers his career as a photographer, filmmaker, and artist.

Scroll to Top