Many times people say my pictures are dark and immediately, that tells me something about them, that the pictures are making them nervous and making them anxious, and then I say to myself, why? Johannesburg, I guess, is a special place because I found the world of Roger Ballen here. Studying psychology gave me a framework of understanding human behavior, my own behavior and the human mind. One of the most important goals for a human being to undertake is to better understand their mind, their primeval self, their core self, if you want to use those words, and I think most people are very scared and anxious to try to delve into themselves. The subconscious mind, I think, is a place where words fall apart. There’s no way of putting your finger on it. When one takes pictures in black and white, one is purifying the world, one is abstracting the world. The crucial thing about my art is it gets into people’s subconscious mind, it changes the state of being in some way or another, because the picture embed themselves in their heads. Maybe just for an instant, for a second. For me, that should be the purpose of art. It should take them somewhere. Sometimes my subject is a rat, sometimes it’s a drawing on the wall, sometimes it’s something I found in the witch doctor market, I mean, when you go there, you really feel like you’re in the heart of Africa somehow or another. Perhaps it’s romantic, perhaps it’s interesting. It’s also a place I find props and I know some of the people there, so I feel like I’m in a different world, a genuine world,I feel like I’m on the ground. And at the same time there’s something spiritual about the place. The place that I photograph is part of the psychological human experience, but it may have something to do with something outside of that, too. Roger Ballen, in lots of ways, is a mystery to Roger Ballen. Roger Ballen is not exactly clear who Roger Ballen is. It’s something that I deal with everyday.