David Ballinger Biography
David Ballinger's art career has not taken a typical path.
British-born Ballinger grew up just north of London, England with a British celebrity drumming father and Washington, DC raised mother who were avid art / antique collectors. At an early age Ballinger would use his father's camera to take random photos of buildings and landscapes (and the occasional photo of his rough collie, Woody).
Not considering photography to be a 'safe' career he headed to the University Of Westminster to study business and joined Harley-Davidson in Chelsea, London in 1996. In 1998 he was part of the Harley-Davidson team that helped put together The Art Of The Harley exhibition at London's Barbican Centre. The exhibition attracted large crowds of art lovers and non-art lovers and the lines were blurred in Ballinger's mind as to what art is. The exhibition morphed into The Art Of The Motorcycle and went on to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Having travelled extensively for many Fortune 500 companies as a Marketing Director he was able to take photos in many locations and his interest in architecture and photography strengthened. For several years Ballinger worked in Marketing for brands like Harley-Davidson, BMW, Western Union, General Motors and Endemol / BBC TV.
Artist / Designer David Ballinger is famous for his architectural designs, MetroShed (a flat pack prefab freestanding room that revolutionized the garden shed into modern architecture) and the MetroShip (a houseboat with New York loft style interior). The 'prefab pioneer' has been likened to Frank Gehry in the New York Times, Mies van der Rohe in Continental Magazine and with Apple pedigree design in Atlanta Magazine. You may recognize the MetroShip as it was Neiman Marcus' 50th Anniversary His & Hers gift in their 2010 Christmas catalog. Even the furniture in the architectural structures are designed by his furniture brand, MetroSofa. The design inspiration for many of Ballinger's designs comes from his architectural photography… the detail of a window, the lines of a roof or the use of non-traditional material to create a more liveable structure.
Ballinger's work has been featured in Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, USA Today, Miami Herald, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Independent, NBC's Today Show, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, Fox, CBS among others. Ballinger has designed Harley-Davidson's for Chelsea Football Club and Kenwood Audio and is now working on a range of custom BMW motorcycles. His MetroSofa 'green-built' furniture can be seen in many boutique hotels, restaurants and bars in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and beyond.
As a photographer, Ballinger is influenced by Hiroshi Sugimoto's mastery of light and black & white photography, Andreas Gursky's detailed large scale photography, Gilbert & George's repetition of pattern and Vera Lutter's camera obscura techniques. He has sold art to Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Paramount Pictures, Sony, The Gap and numerous private collectors.
Today Ballinger uses Leica cameras to create his art in tribute to photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Ballinger's claim to fame… prior to moving to America he was a drummer in a British band called 'Custom Blue'… who's music can be heard in Luc Besson's The Transporter movie.
David Ballinger lives and works in a lakeside log cabin 35 minutes from New York City.
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