Dirk Braeckman
°Eeklo, Belgium, 1958

Braeckman’s work is highly subjective and evades the conventions of documentary photography, yet remains highly autobiographical. Even though his images are often deprived of human figures, his own personality and thoughts are very present. In his work we can distinguish several themes: female nudes, curtains, empty corners in rooms, walls, abandoned hotel rooms, etc. His images are intriguing and suggestive. They raise more questions than they answer.
Braeckman is never searching for images, he simply notices things and finds images in what surrounds him. He always carries a camera with him, not only during his travels but also when he wanders around in Ghent, where he lives and works. His dark room is transformed into a field of experimentation in which the artist manipulates the paper, working with the materiality of the picture, revealing influences of chance and time. The artist avoids images that are over-reasoned and opts for the unpredictable. Freedom and spontaneity therefore become essential notions in his creative process. Braeckman expands the photographic medium to the point where it becomes rather akin to the practice of the sculptor. What is particularly remarkable is his use of one of the most basic elements in the photographic process, the light.