Sunday, March 8, 2009

Profile : Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen's photography has switched from documentary to Abstractism, his "Platteland" controversial book focus on portrait of outcasted "white" people in the South Africa of the Apartheid era and provoked many discussions and criticism. I found his work really strong and admire the process of the evolution of his photography, here some note from wikipedia:
Roger Ballen was born in New York City, New York, USA in 1950. He has lived in Johannesburg South Africa since the 1970's. 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.