Photography Legend Roger Ballen to Release an Exclusive NFT Collection

While the NFT market is driven by investment returns and collectors who buy just to sell later, leading contemporary artists occasionally release digital works that are for keeping. With tumultuous prices and cryptocurrency market fluctuations, investing in proven names could be the best option to secure assets and acquire high-quality NFT artworks.

Among established artists who joined the market recently is Roger Ballen, one of the most influential image-makers of our time.

Roger Ballen - Best Friends, 2016
Roger Ballen – Best Friends, 2016, courtesy of the artist & misa.art

Visualizing the Unconscious

Roger Ballen has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative image-makers of our time by exploring the dark side of the human mind and depicting the unconscious, the spooky, and the unexpected. He has defied photography in the 21st century, unlike no other. Black-and-white photography, mystic drawings, intriguing short films, and special NFTs are all examples of his vivid artistic expression and are all a part of the Ballenesque—the artist’s unique world.

His images portray people and their surroundings in a natural, unvarnished way that confronts the viewer and challenges them to travel with him into their own minds. His most well-known photo collections—Outland, Platteland, or Boyhood—not only appeared in exhibitions at galleries, museums, and art fairs throughout the world but also elevated Ballen to the status of one of the most important contemporary photographers.

Roger The Rat was made in Johannesburg between 2015 and 2020, and Hatje Cantz released a Roger The Rat book with the artwork in 2020. The work imagines and depicts a creature that is half human and half rat and that lives alone in a subterranean dwelling apart from the rest of society. Viewed as filthy and nasty, Roger the Rat follows his natural impulses and is a persona that represents anarchy and disarray.

Sixty photographs and a movie are part of the Roger The Rat series. Photos and brief videos taken on the movie set are now offered as art NFTs.

Roger Ballen - Surprise, 2015, detail
Roger Ballen – Surprise, 2015, detail, courtesy of the artist & misa.art

The Practice of Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen, born in New York in 1950, relocated to South Africa to pursue his career as a geologist. His work as a geologist took him into the countryside and inspired him to pick up a camera and discover the secret world of little South African communities. Ballen soon began painting residents of such places as they lived in their homes, giving Apartheid many faces. A straightforward square format in stark and stunning black and white, as well as Ballen’s eye for the terrifyingly seductive essence of the human condition, make up the distinctive visual language of Roger Ballen.

Ballen incorporates sketching, cinema, and NFTs into his work by constantly refining his artistic approach. The Roger The Rat series, one of his most current and influential works, perfectly encapsulates Ballen’s aesthetic perfection in photography, writing, directing, and psychology. The artwork embodies the distinctive Ballenesque look that Ballen developed over the course of his fifty years long career.

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