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Roger Ballen Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • UC Berkeley, California

Welcome to the Asylum — the latest surreal photographic compositions by the American master of psychologically disturbing, multi-layered complex imagery. 20 new photos in a slideshow, plus a "making-of" video.

Beautiful, surreal and disturbing, the artwork of Roger Ballen has attracted vocal criticism — positive and negative — since the early 1990s. In an exclusive audio interview for Lens Culture, Ballen talks at length about his photography. Listen to the interview while looking at 25 recent photographs.
The latest book from South African photographer Roger Ballen is both beautiful and disturbing. In an exclusive audio interview, Ballen talks about this new work.

In this articulate 10-minute video interview, photographer Roger Ballen provides insight into his unique approach to image-making, psychology in art, and more. Enjoy!

This weird, disturbing, controversial and sometimes violent video, shows photographer Roger Ballen on the site of his latest multi-year art project project in the slums of South Africa. ****Viewer discretion advised.****

About Roger Ballen

I have been shooting black and white film for nearly fifty years now. I believe I am part of the last generation that will grow up with this media. Black and White is a very minimalist art form and unlike color photographs does not pretend to mimic the world in a manner similar to the way the human eye might perceive. Black and White is essentially an abstract way to interpret and transform what one might refer to as reality.

My purpose in taking photographs over the past forty years has ultimately been about defining myself. It has been fundamentally a psychological and existential journey.

If an artist is one who spends his life trying to define his being, I guess I would have to call myself an artist.

Read more
Roger Ballen's Books