PRINT December 2004

Matthew Higgs


1 Roger Ballen (Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA) Prior to seeing this eye-opening survey (organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego), I’d given almost no thought to Ballen’s creepy, surreal-ish photographs. Since seeing it I’ve thought of little else. There’s a lot to be wary of (and possibly even dislike) in Ballen’s work: e.g., the apparent “manipulation” of his seemingly disenfranchised South African subjects (collaborators?) or the way he makes poverty appear somehow theatrical, poetic even. Yet Ballen is such a profoundly strange artist that I’m willing to forgive him (almost) anything.

2 “Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules” (Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh) Surveying the contents of a mere eighteen of Warhol’s some six hundred “time capsules” was, frankly, overwhelming. Among the hundreds of gems Warhol squirreled away in these boxes (on view through January 2)

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