Roger Ballen to Drop ‘Roger the Rat’ NFTs on misa.art
The NFTs are part of a series starring a rodent that Ballen describes as 'not a nice guy'.
Roger Ballen, Best Friends (2016). NFT. Courtesy of the artist and misa.art.
The works are part of the series 'Roger The Rat' (2015-2020), which began as a book of 60 photographs published by Hatje Cantz in 2020 and includes a short film.
Ballen describes the character as 'a human id'.
'Roger the Rat is a reflection of that human instinctual type of behaviour that people can't act on, and might act out in their own minds, but not reveal what they're really thinking or feeling,' he told Ocula Magazine. 'You can see Roger as humorous, you can see Roger as insane, you can see Roger as violent.'
Born in New York, Roger Ballen moved to South Africa in his work as a geologist. His black and white documentary-style photographs of small towns there often exposed dark aspects of Apartheid-era South Africa. He went on to stage photographs using mannequins, masks, rats, and dark, run-down rooms, a visual language evocative of horror movies.
'The purpose of my work is to produce archetypal images that have a deeper psychological impact,' he said.
In the misa.art drop on 18 August, Ballen will release seven unique photographs that were shot as part of the 'Roger The Rat' series along with five videos, which will be released in editions of three.
KÖNIG GALERIE launched misa.art just over a year ago, on 10 August 2021. Ballen isn't officially represented by KÖNIG GALERIE, but NFTs have provided dealers opportunities to work with artists outside their rosters.
Similarly, Ballen is excited to reach new collectors with his NFTs.'What interests me the most about NFT's is the potential new audience for this media,' Ballen said. 'At this point in time it is substantially different to those interested in collecting traditional photography.' —[O]