Roger Ballen was born in New York, and has lived and worked in South Africa since the late 1970´s. His mother worked as a photo editor at Magnum Photo Agency, New York, and as a teenager Ballen befriended the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, and Elliott Erwitt.
For many years Ballen worked as a geologist while documenting the small villages of rural South Africa and their isolated inhabitants. His distinctive style has evolved from a documentary approach to something more abstract, metaphoric and introspective. Over the years he developed his own private visual universe, combining photography, sculpture, films and installations. He describes his work as fundamentally psychological and existential; making art is an exercise in defining himself.
Mr Ballen’s work has been shown in institutions worldwide and is represented in many museum collections, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Tate, London, England and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA. The exhibition ‘Roger Ballen´s Theater of the Absurd’ at Fotografiska, Stockholm was curated by PUG Oslo.