James McCracken Jr. (b. 1988, Richmond, Virginia) is an internationally published and exhibited artist based out of Brooklyn, New York. His work explores the trappings of our cultural identities and the disappearing vestiges of communities that he has lived in, from Brooklyn to the rural South. Themes of political and social justice, along with investigations of family, religion, and home recur throughout his projects. He uses photography as a cornerstone for much of his work, and his subjects confront the camera with stark self-awareness and a sense of ownership and pride in their reality.
The bulk of his current work is rooted in the Brooklyn neighborhoods he has lived in since being honorably discharged from the United States Navy in 2012. His experiences have led to increasing interest and involvement with aspects of Brooklyn’s fraught socioeconomic dynamics, especially the threat of displacement and further marginalization that gentrification poses to communities. James' most recent project titled, Do You Know Who I Am?, examines the complexities of the United States prison system and commoditization of prison labor. The work confronts these issues through the introduction of letters written by his incarcerated uncle, and traverses the intricacies of families strained to support a loved one in prison.
James’ has been exhibited in multiple solo exhibitions throughout New York City, and many of the photographs are held in private and public collections. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Visual Arts and Communications, and later received a Master of Arts in Multi-Platform Journalism from Fordham University. James is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Columbia University (2019).