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Roger Ballen, Theatre of the Mind


Always seeking to push the boundaries of photographic practice, Roger Ballen has created an aesthetic and artistic vision unlike any other contemporary photographer. Roger Ballen’s Theatre of the Mind is a showcase for Ballen’s psychologically powerful and masterfully composed images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation and photography. In Roger Ballen’s Theatre of the Mind, he does not only defies genres, but has defined his own artistic space.
The 35 pieces on exhibit at Izzy Gallery, in Toronto have been selected to display the breadth and evolution of Ballen’s work over the last 30 years including the haunting and painterly photo portrait Old Man Ottoshoop (1983); and Show Off (2000), his discomforting tableau on race that moves Ballen’s work out of documentary photography and into the realm of fiction. Twirling (2005) further blurs the boundaries in Ballen’s work between photography, painting, theatre and sculpture. Other iconic work includes Gooi, Rooi (2012), a behind-the-scenes image from ‘I Fink U Freeky’, the 2012 music video Ballen directed for South African band Die Antwoord; and Waif (2012) from his series of ‘prehistoric cave-paintings’; the black dimensionless spaces on glass onto which Ballen carves his thoughts and emotions. All Ballen’s work takes the viewer on a journey into their subconscious.
Timeless and innovative, earthly and otherworldly, physical and spiritual Ballen’s work transcends all traditional concepts of photography with images that have the capacity to shock, amuse, and elate.
Roger Ballen, Theatre of the Mind
October 13, November 19, 2016
Izzy Gallery
1255 Bay Str.
M5R 2A9
Toronto, Canada

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