Dirk Braeckman Biography
Dirk Braeckman is a contemporary Belgian photographer born in Eeklo, Belgium in 1958. Braeckman studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium in 1977 with the intention of studying painting. He was inspired by painters like Gerhard Richter who uses photography to make their paintings. Initially, Braeckman studied photography and film as a vehicle towards painting, but instead became so interested in the darkroom process that he continued with photography as his first choice in medium.
Dirk Braeckman is known for his enigmatic and abstract approach to black and white imagery, which often leaves his subjects unidentifiable or place-specific, creating a sense of mystery and ambiguity. His large scale grey shaded works suggest rather than explain.
Braeckman’s photographs in the 1980s were mainly of himself and close friends and in the 1990s was where his subject matter started to shift. Braeckman turned his focus on subjects that he likes to describe as ‘anti-spectacular,’ such as empty rooms, hotel corridors, close-ups of curtains, furniture, or antique wallpaper. His focus on these subjects is distinctive, as he captures them in a way that renders them mysterious. Braeckman’s subject matter might be ordinary in the essence, but his artistic approach elevates these scenes to a level of heightened contemplation. His darkroom functions as his studio; a place for him to experiment with spontaneity and time, influencing his creative process. Breakman manipulates his negatives using tools and darkroom techniques stemming from a painterly approach which results in images with a tactility, stretching the limits of the medium.
Dirk Braeckman’s photographs have been exhibited in places such as The Modern Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, BOZAR, Brussels, S.M.A.K, Ghent, Fotohof, Salzburg, Museum de Pont, Tilburg, Hamburger Banhof, Berlin, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rido de Janerio, Whitechapel Gallery, Longon, WIELS, Brussels, and Museum M, Leuven.
Breakman’s work has been collected and included in private and public collections worldwide such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Arthothequ, Annecy, Belgacom Art, Brussels (BE); Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Centro de Fotografia de la Universidad, Salamanca; Fondation nationale d’art contemporain, Paris; Frac Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkirk; Frac Rhône-Alpes, Villeurbanne; Kunstmuseum, The Hagu; M HKA, Antwerp; MAC’s Grand-Hornu, Hornu; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Ministère de la Communauté française, Brussels; Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Brussels; Musée Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône; Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi; Musée d’Art Contemporain et Moderne, Strasbourg; Mu.ZEE, Ostend; Philadelphia Museum of Art; De Pont, Museum voor hedendaagse kunst, Tilburg; Provinciaal Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp; Royal Palace, Brussels; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst S.M.A.K., Ghent.