Dirk Braeckman


gelatin silver print
70 7/8 x 47 1/4 inches

Subjective, autobiographical, and at times deeply mysterious, the photographs of Belgian artist Dirk Braeckman have both subverted and expanded the conventions of the medium since the 1980s. He often prints just a single image from each negative, ignoring the medium’s inherent reproducibility. And though he may return to the same negative in the darkroom, his experimental manner of working (ie: adding dust and scratches to negatives, overexposing, adding chemicals during printing) produces a variation on the image, not a reproduction. Braeckman’s work is almost exclusively black-and-white (and virtually monochromatic when in color), and his manipulation of light and tone – seen in the lush range of greys – bears evidence of a photographer who molds light and shadow like a painter. And though themes reoccur in his work – curtains, nudes, and reflections – they are evidence of a deeply sensitive photographic eye, rather than a deliberate strategy of production. Solo exhibitions of Braeckman’s work have been presented at museums throughout Europe, and this year Braeckman represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale.