Roger Ballen is best known for his psychologically powerful and intricately layered images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation, and photography. Ballenesque is the first comprehensive retrospective of his work.
Separated into four parts, Ballenesque takes readers on a chronological journey through Ballen’s entire oeuvre, including both iconic images and previously unpublished works. Part I explores Ballen’s formative artistic influences and his later rediscovery of boyhood through photography, culminating in his first published monograph, Boyhood, in 1979. Part II charts the period between 1980 and 2000, during which time he released his seminal monograph Outland. Part III covers the years 2000-2013, when Ballen achieved global recognition and his work began to veer away from portraiture altogether. Finally, in Part IV, Ballen reflects on his career.
With more than 300 photographs and an introduction by Robert JC Young, this book provides both a new way of seeing Ballen’s work for those who already follow his career and a comprehensive introduction for those encountering his striking photographs for the first time.
A wonderful, career-long survey… Ballen's images of people are wincingly moving - or, as Emily Dickinson once hauntingly remarked, they're like a loaded gun.
— The Independent (UK)
Roger Ballen is one of the most important and distinctive art photographers working today. His previous books include Asylum of the Birds, The Theatre of Apparitions, and Ballenesque: Roger Ballen: A Retrospective.
Robert JC Young
Robert J.C. Young, FBA, is Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University. He has been writing about Roger Ballen’s work since 2012. His most recent books are Empire Colony Postcolony, and, with Jean Khalfa, Frantz Fanon. Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté, Ouvres II.