Christening envoy enterprises’ new expanded gallery space located on 87 Rivington St., artist Desi Santiago will occupy the first floor and raw basement with an enigmatic environment fluctuating between the realms of seduction and mourning. Santiago will obscure the notions of a gallery space with what the artist describes as a “horrific” yet luring intervention comprised of new sculpture, installation, and video.
Santiago is known for employing theatricality and ceremony into his work transforming a typical viewer into a participant of a multi-sensory ritual. In his solo exhibition for envoy enterprises, the artist will swathe the gallery in a series of sculptural environments featuring miniature robots, custom-made suits, worn masks cast from Santiago’s face, and a bomb.
Concurrently with his solo exhibition at 87 Rivington, Santiago will have a satellite installation on view at envoy enterprise’s project space on 131 Chrystie St.
A New York City-based Puerto Rican visual and performance artist, Desi Santiago’s artistic practice spans from 1990 to the present and is heavily influenced by subcultural scenes, with a strong foundation in NYC nightlife, and cross-over into fashion and art worlds. Santiago’s work draws from, addresses, and utilizes the respective vocabularies and iconography of these worlds to create ceremonial experiences and relational performances, which deal with identity, exchange, and the duality of mourning/celebration. His practice is that of “the host”, wherein the body is the channel and receptor for circumstance, experience, and identities to pass through resulting in a visual vocabulary of object, installation, and performance.
Santiago's large-scale installations often involve performative and theatrical platforms, richly layered with philosophical, historical and social references. Santiago received a MFA from Bard College. The artist's work has exhibited at Matthew Marks Gallery, D'Amelio Terras Gallery, Deitch Projects, MoMA PS1, Asia Song Society, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. Santiago was recently profiled in the Style section of The New York Times.
During Art Basel Miami 2012 Desi Santiago will transform The Lords Hotel into the body of a black dog named Gypsy.
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