James McCracken Jr. (b. 1988, Richmond, Virginia) is photo-based artist, visual storyteller, and collector of things. James’ work often explores the trappings of our cultural identities and the disappearing vestiges of communities that he has lived in. He uses visual storytelling to address themes of political and social justice, along with investigations of family, religion, community, and the home. James uses photography, and his love for books, as a cornerstone for much of his work. However, his installations involve sculpture, video, printmaking, and found objects to create a narrative that reframes his experiences with systems of control and opens new possibilities of reform.
James is currently a Brooklyn based artist who has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Many of his photographs are held in private and public collections. James holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University (Visual Arts), Master of Arts degree (Multi-Platform Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (double majoring in Visual Arts and Communications) from Fordham University.
“I grew up throughout Virginia, and my love for collecting things began as a kid while working with my father in his architectural salvage and custom home business. I loved working on historic homes and in junk yards, and still scavenge flea markets and yard sales looking for inspirational things to surround myself with. Besides having access to wonderful treasures, I was also able to meet the most interesting characters. My fascination with objects, and how they reminded me of a person or place, ultimately led me to photography as a medium with many possibilities. After being honorably discharged from the Navy I moved to New York City and immersed myself into photography - inspired by Walker Evans: American Photographs…I was fortunate to have some great mentors while studying at Fordham and Columbia. They all pushed and pulled my work in many directions, and asked some tough questions…I hope that when people view my work now they have more questions than answers.”