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Roger Ballen

Behind the Curtain

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Roger Ballen was practically born to be a photographer. His mother was the first Photo Gallerist in New York in the 1960's. So from an early age, he was surrounded by the masterpieces of the famous photographers of the time. After obtaining a degree in geology and psychology, he has lived and worked for more than 30 years in South Africa.

At first glance, his photos seem mysterious, dark and obscure. Upon closer evaluation, they are multilayered and deep. As a geologist, he looks for things that hide below the surface of the earth. As a photographer he looks below the surface to discover the hidden uniqueness of the subject. Where others see misery, Ballen sees beauty.

"I am clearly interested in the conditio humana and a very specific perception of my surrounding," says Roger Ballen. His pictures represent an interrelationship between the subjects and the photographer; they don’t have a singular meaning.


roger ballen

I appreciate a lot how this video is done: questions, answers - calmly, straight, essential, alternating with powerful photos. Gave me a nice inside into his powerful artwork.