Miami Beach, Florida
Photographic Story When I first discovered the Miami Beach Art Deco district in 1983, the buildings were painted hospital green, brown and beige. I thought, “Look at these magnificent pieces of architecture! They should reflect the colors of the period in which they were built.” And so, I began hand-painting them to resemble the way I thought they should look. When I took this photograph, Clyde and I were staying in the Carlyle with a beach view for $20 a night! Unknown to me, there was a movement afoot to save the district. The city plan was for the hotels to be torn down. When I found out about the effort to save the district, I hoped that my images would help the “powers that be” see how wonderful the district could look if those great pieces of architecture were painted decent colors. It was through the hard work and dedication of Barbara Capitman and her Miami Design Preservation League that the district was saved from destruction. Today it is respected in the world of architecture and stands as the purest concentration of Deco architecture in the world. The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Niki prints her images on fiber-base black and white mat surface paper in the darkroom, then using Q-tips and cotton balls, she applies a thin coat of oil paint over the surface allowing the image to gently be seen through the oil paint. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.