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Diedrick Brackens
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June 3, 2024
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Diedrick Brackens: Fabric of Queer Black Stories

The artwork of Diedrick Brackens, a US artist and textile weaver, is about identity, illness, vulnerability, healing, and love. His tapestries are a celebration of queer black lives, rich with symbolism and cultural narratives.

Offsetting the comfort suggested by the softness of textiles, Brackens' iconographies confront the harsh realities of queer blackness. His compositions address the everyday violence faced by black people, the unequal impact of HIV/AIDS, and the broader social injustices that affect marginalized communities. 

Growing up in a small Texas town, he navigated the complexities of being a young queer black man through creativity and community engagement. This background continues to influence his art, imbuing it with layered symbolism and rich cultural narratives.

Brackens' technical process involves hand-dyeing cotton, a deliberate nod to the material's brutal history, and employing techniques from West African weaving, South American quilting, and European tapestry-making. His designs often feature motifs such as water, catfish, Biblical tales, and representations of queer black identities, creating tapestries of narratives.

Brackens' work has gained significant recognition. He exhibited is work at the New Museum in New York City and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Despite the challenges, Brackens remains hopeful for a diversified art world, seeing a groundswell of new and diverse voices emerging in the art scene.

Through his tapestries, Diedrick Brackens weaves a rich, multifaceted narrative that celebrates the resilience, beauty, and complexity of queer black life.


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