Diedrick Brackens: darling divined
Published by New Museum/Blanton Museum.
Edited with interview by Margot Norton. Foreword by Lisa Phillips and Simone Wicha. Text by Derrick Austin, Essex Hemphill, Danielle Jackson, Veronica Roberts.
Interlacing West African weaving, European tapestry and Southern quilting, Brackens creates figurative narratives and cosmographic abstractions that merge commemoration, allegory and lived experience
Diedrick Brackens (born 1989) constructs intricately woven textiles that speak to the complexities of Black and queer identity in the United States. He foregrounds the loaded associations of cotton, which is enmeshed in the history of the transatlantic slave trade, and inscribes his weavings with symbolic materials and figures that probe the tangled threads of American history.
For darling divined, Brackens presents a selection of new and recent weavings. Their titles draw from poetry and literature by writers such as Essex Hemphill, a poet and activist known for openly addressing race, sexuality, the rise of HIV/AIDS and other issues affecting the queer African American community. This work was inspired by Hemphill’s poems, particularly “The Father, Son and Unholy Ghosts,” which speaks to the intricacies of familial relationships and the radical gesture of birthing one’s own identity. Brackens’ large-scale tapestries portray moments of intimacy between coupled beings, whether they be animals, lovers, relatives or friends.