If you made it to the Met’s Alexander McQueen retrospective last year, you’ve already seen Desi Santiago’s work amongst the mannequins’ S&M-influenced face masks. The McQueen show brought Santiago to the attention of Louis Vuitton, where he designed sets and masks for this year’s Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (The sinister robo-nurses above are sporting Louis Vuitton’s 2007 collaboration with Richard Prince.)
Santiago has fallen into a sweet spot where his artwork and gallery shows coexist with fashion labels, nightlife, design, and even his “latino freestyle goth” band. His solo exhibition just inaugurated the new Envoy Enterprises space on the Lower East Side—expect to find miniature robots in sequined boxes, custom-made suits, masks cast from Santiago’s face, and an upside-down neon pentagram.
FROM THE ARTIST
“I navigate between art, nightlife and fashion worlds. For me, these are all forums to communicate through. I used to compartmentalize these worlds and thought the gallery space was the ultimate place to find some validation for my work. I let go and realized my art practice is specific to me. I had been creating my work in the world long before I was involved with galleries.” -Interview with Paul Bruno
Video for Santiago’s band Escandalo. Art direction by Santiago.