Roger Ballen is an American artist, born in New York and living in Johannesburg, South Africa. His oeuvre, which spans five decades, began with the documentary photography field but evolved into the creation of distinctive fictionalized realms that also integrate the mediums of film, installation, theatre, sculpture, painting and drawing. Marginalized people, animals, found objects, wires and childlike drawings inhabit the unlocatable worlds presented in Ballen’s artworks. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. Ballen describes his works as existential psychodramas that touch the subconscious mind and evoke the underbelly of the human condition. They aim to break through the repressed thoughts and feelings by engaging him in themes of chaos and order, madness or unruly states of being, the human relationship to the animal world, life and death, universal archetypes of the psyche and experiences of otherness. In his artistic practice Ballen has increasingly been won over by the possibilities of integrating photography and drawing. The line between fantasy and reality in his subsequent series’ Boarding House (2009) and Asylum of the Birds (2014) became increasingly blurred and in these series he employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. In this phase Ballen invented a new hybrid aesthetic, but one still rooted firmly in black and white photography.