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By now, hopefully you have heard of Roger Ballen. If not, you are in for a wonderful treat. Roger is a photographer from South Africa and has made a huge impact on all of us here. We feel that he is one of the most important photographers alive today. He mixes art and photography with a strange design aesthetic to create surreal dreamlike moments that he captures with film. 5 books strong, Roger continues to amaze us with quality work that is equally inviting and foreign to the eye. We sat down with Roger in Minneapolis and found him to be a very kind and humble man. Without further banter, we present you with an audio-format of this interview.
About Roger Ballen
Roger Ballen was born in New York City in 1950 and has lived in Johannesburg South Africa for almost 30 years. Beginning by documenting the small dorps or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen’s photography moved on in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to their inhabitants; through the late 1990’s Ballen’s work progressed. By the mid 1990’s his subjects began to act where previously his pictures however troubling fell firmly into the category of documentary photography, his work then moved into the realms of fiction. His third book Outland produced by Phaidon Press in 2000 was the result.
In the fall of 2005, Phaidon press produced its second book by the artist, entitled “Shadow Chamber”. The book focuses on the interactions between the people, animals, and or objects that inhabit Ballen’s unique image space. Ballen’s recent work enters into a new realm of photography—the images are painterly and sculptural in ways not immediately associated with photographs.