Tariyawn Knighten is a Chicago based artist, documentarian, educator, and self-published author whose work is informed by his experience of growing up in the K-town neighborhood (which name is given as its placement is between the streets of Pulaski road and Cicero avenue, the streets names all begin with the letter “K” traveling east to west) on the west side of Chicago. Knighten sees his work as part of the narrative tradition of the Black aesthetic, with particular attention to Black migrants and the Great Migration, specifically Black neighborhoods established on the west side of Chicago. In the spirit of Gordon Parks, Knighten’s contribution to the photographic history of Black Chicago is an intervention in that the everyday beauty of Black People on the west wide has not been sufficiently documented. Chicago is the genesis of Tariyawn Knighten’s work as a photo-documentarian, but he endeavors to expand his work to include other histories in the Great Migration, such as St. Louis, MO., Philadelphia, PA., and perhaps, Harlem, NY.
Image: Tariyawn Knighten, Foundation #38, patron saints (2020). Dimensions vary, archival inkjet print.