Diedrick Brackens

Various Small Fires (VSF), Los Angeles (F14)

Diedrick Brackens (born 1989) lives in Los Angeles.

Diedrick Brackens uses woven algorithms stemming from the cultural histories of African, American, and European textiles to generate his poetic, intricate tapestries. Using his own silhouette as a template for the figures in his work, Brackens constructs layered narratives that explore the complexities of American identity and social politics.

Brackens focuses on the relationship between man and horse, continuing his exploration of animals as social archetypes. Wrestling with tropes of masculinity and using horses to conjure stereotypes associated with black bodies, Brackens investigates the unheard history of black cowboys in three new woven works. By the late 19th Century, one in four American cattle ranchers were Black, pejoratively described as “cowboys”, a term which today is ironically associated with bootstrapping, gun-toting, white males.

Diedrick Brackens received a BFA from University of North Texas, and an MFA from California College of the Arts. He has held recent exhibitions at VSF, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; and California African American Museum, Los Angeles. Recent awards include the Marciano Artadia Award and the Studio Museum Wein Prize. Brackens has an upcoming solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York in June, 2019.