Brandon Ballengée

Telepresent Animal Hall of Fame, Artist


Brandon Ballengée (American, born 1974) is a visual artist, biologist and environmental activist based in New York. Ballengée creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired from his ecological field and laboratory research. Since 1996, a central investigation focus has been the occurrence of developmental deformities and population declines among amphibians. In 2001, he was nominated for membership into Sigma XI, the Scientific Research Society. In 2009, Ballengée and SK Sessions published “Explanation for Missing Limbs in Deformed Amphibians” in the Journal of Experimental Zoology and received international media attention from the BBC and others. This scientific study was the inspiration for the book Malamp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians (published by Arts Catalyst & Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK) and a solo exhibition at the Royal Institution of Great Brittain (London, England: 2010). Since 2009 he has continued his amphibian research as a visiting scientist at McGill University (Montréal, Canada). In 2011 he was awarded a conservation leadership fellowship from the National Audubon Society’s TogetherGreen Program (USA).

In the summer of 2013 the first career survey of Ballengeé’s work debuted at the Château de Chamarande in Essonne (France), and will travel to the Museum Het Domein in Sittard (Netherlands) in 2014. Also in 2014, 34 of his prints, including some from the Malamp and Early Life series, will be exhibited in a major solo exhibition at the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland (Michigan). His work has previously been exhibited throughout the USA and internationally in 17 countries, including Canada, Argentina, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Russia, India, China, South Korea and Australia.

His art has been featured in several major US publications, including ARTnews, Art in America, The New York Times, New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Orion, Audubon Magazine and Sculpture. Internationally, it was also featured in Beaux Arts (France), Liberation (France), L’Oeil (France), The Observer (England), The Guardian (England), Financial Times (England), BBC News (England), D’Ars (Italy), Domenica (Italy), Il Venerdi (Italy), The Sunday Guardian: New Dehli (India) and others.


Brandon Ballengée takes part in the Telepresent Animal Exhibition, February to May 2014.

DFA 1 - Panóptês Argos
From the series, Malamp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians

The Telepresent Animal Hall of Fame

These reliquaries are created by chemically “clearing and staining” terminally deformed frogs found in nature. This process obscures direct representation — as I do not want to exhibit large images of “monsters”, which would be frightening and be exploitative to the organisms. This process is followed by high-resolution scanner photography of each specimen to create individual portraits. These portraits are printed as unique watercolor ink prints (never made into editions) and each individual frog will be centered appearing to “float” in what looks to be clouds. This otherworldly quality is reinforced by the titles named after ancient characters from Greco-Roman mythology. They are scaled so the frogs appear approximately the size of a human toddler, in an attempt to invoke empathy in the viewer instead of detachment or fear: if they are too small they will dismissed but if they are too large they will become monsters. Each finished artwork is unique and never editioned, to recall the individual animal and become a reliquary to a short-lived non-human life.



Invterview with Brandon Ballengée

Malamp UK, 2010