With a career spanning over four decades, Roger Ballen is best known for his psychologically powerful and masterfully composed images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation and photography. This book is both a departure from his existing oeuvre and the culmination of his unique aesthetic linking image-making and theatrical performance. Separated into seven chapters or 'acts', these Ballenesque images take readers on a journey deep into their subconscious.
Inspired by the sight of hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women's prison, Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then 'drawing on' or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through. The results are like prehistoric cave-paintings: the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen carves his thoughts and emotions. Fossil-like facial forms and dismembered body parts co-exist uncomfortably with vaporous, ghost-like shadows - these images have the capacity to shock, inspire, amuse and even elate viewers.
Timeless and innovative, earthly and otherwordly, physical and spiritual, his work transcends all traditional concepts of photography.
'Reveals a surprising, macabre new direction for the photographer'
'Highlights shadowed places in the human psyche and in the wider world. Recommended'