Photographer, Kiki Provatas, was born and raised in South East Los Angeles — the eldest daughter of three from a Greek immigrant father and a Puerto Rican mother.
She studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, eventually moving to New York to work as a tech designer for Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger respectively. Her love of photography was born where many cultural art forms are: Brooklyn. She was enraptured by the way gentrification manifested as erasure in the changing architecture of the neighborhood and began to shoot closed store fronts and old churches. It was her way of helping to preserve the ever changing neighborhood. Her focus soon shifted to the people living in these gentrifying areas.
In 2014, Kiki began to photograph the owners and patrons of her neighborhood corner stores. In support of New York city’s bodega strike she named the series, My Bodega: A Portrait of a City as a tribute to many of the subjects who are immigrants and Yemen owned bodegas. In the same year she began an ongoing series, Subway Songbirds documenting subway musicians. Other series include Hecho en Mexico 2016, Its a Brooklyn ‘Ting and Dear Bed-Stuy 2016- present.
Kiki’s subject matters expanded passed the blocks of Brooklyn and subways of New York to other parts of the world. —telling the story of strangers willing to offer a face and a story filled with love, inspiration and sometimes heartbreak— proving we are more alike than not.
She currently lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NYC.