Roger Ballen
American-South African, born 1950
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
Strange Beauty,
Beck & Eggeling
No Joke - Roger Ballen and Asger Carlsen,
V1 Gallery
Roger Ballen: Retrospective,
Istanbul Modern

Roger Ballen has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the past three decades. His black-and-white photography has shifted from an early focus on documentary and photojournalism—such as the 1994 series "Platteland: Images From Rural South Africa," which depicted the poor and socially outcast—to staged, painterly compositions of private, surreal worlds, many without human subjects. In the 2009 series "Boarding House," animals, wall drawings, and objects like furniture and electric wire (a reappearing visual) combine to yield ambiguous and discomfiting images, recalling artists such as Diane Arbus.