Roger Ballen. Headless, 2006, Inkjet Print, 90 x 90 cm
The South African based artist Roger Ballen (b. 1950 in New York City) is famous for his photographs of the inhabitants and their surroundings in rural South Africa over the last 30 years. In the exhibition "Portraits, Still Lifes & New Works" Gallery Tom Christoffersen shows some of his most famous motifs - the raw and honest portraits and the captivating still lifes, but also entirely new works from the series Asylum, where inspiration is found in artists such as Jean Dubuffet and Paul Klee. Roger Ballen works here with photography almost as painting, and creates an interesting play between space and surface and object and drawing.
Through four decades and with 6 large photo series in books Roger Ballen has long ago enrolled himself in the history of art. His art seems to blur the distinction between documentary and fictional, and are at once both powerful social statements and simultaneously complex psychological studies. The silent grey still lifes can be seen as a staging of the subconscious - a kind of murky dream scenarios in secret codes, full of dark humour and alluring mystery.
Roger Ballen is represented at among others Louisiana, Denmark, MoMA, New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg. He also collaborates with Gagosian, NYC, Aura Gallery, China and Hamiltons Gallery, London, ao. Lately, he has had exhibitions at Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich and Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris and major retrospectives at Münchner Stadt Museum, Munich, Stenersen Museum, Oslo and Bozar, Bruxelles.