Karen Golightly: Photography

Artist Statement

“Nola Rooster” was taken in 2011 in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. My documentation of graffiti and street art, both locally in Memphis and nationwide, speaks to the grey area between what some consider art and others consider desecration.

“Do You Feel Lucky Punk?” was taken in the summer of 2012 in the South Memphis Soulsville neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. What’s trash to some is treasure to others. Though my subject often takes me into sketchy areas (at least in Memphis), the art there flourishes on flood walls, in tunnels, in abandoned buildings, and on any surface that can serve as a canvas. Most people never get to see these pieces, but I’m working to change that through my photos.

Karen B. Golightly has an MFA in fiction from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in Nineteenth Century British and Irish Studies from Southern Illinois University. She is an associate professor of English at Christian Brothers University, where she teaches. When not running around with her three children, she takes graffiti and public art pictures, lots and lots and lots.