New York City-based Puerto Rican visual artist Desi Santiago, is known for precipitating nightlife to the worlds of fashion and art. His vision and iconography often transform into ceremonial experiences by incorporating theatrical stage with a group of mannequins wearing exotic handcrafted masks.

Disco Mohawks for Sparkle | Musée Des Arts Decoratifs| Louis Vuitton & Marc Jacobs Retrospective

Before beginning his career as a fashion set designer, Santiago dropped out of prestigious school of design Parsons and became heavily immersed in the cities nightlife scene. The time spent there allowed the young artist to experiment and create diverse appearances, by transforming into different identities and dressing up in various masks. Today, his vision has generated into large-scale momentary installations for fashion designer’s retrospectives and celebrity events.

Disco Mohawks for Sparkle | Musée Des Arts Decoratifs| Louis Vuitton & Marc Jacobs Retrospective

His manifestations incorporate sculptures, costumes, masks, and headpieces that often embrace the dichotomy of celebration and bereavement from his past memories and experiences. His practice is that ‘the host’, wherein the body is the medium for circumstance, experience, and identity passes through resulting in a visual vocabulary of object, installation, and performance. 

Romantic Gothic and Cabinet of Curiosities | Savage Beauty | Alexander McQueen

The collection features historicism that is inspired by the Victorian Gothic essence of the nineteenth century. The amalgamation of romantic and horrific elements intensifies the lightness and darkness of emotions.

Romantic Primitivism | Savage Beauty | Alexander McQueen

McQueen’s collection set by Desi Santiago reflects tribalism and the relationship between modernity,  primitive, the civilised and uncivilised.

Musée Des Arts Decoratifs| Louis Vuitton & Marc Jacobs Retrospective

Desi Santiago | Savage Beauty | Alexander McQueen Retrospective

Curating presentations for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Loewe, and Alexander McQueen, the talented artist recently received an MFA from Bard College as a recognition of his works.

“I navigate my life intuitively and exist in a constant creative state. I’m a hungry soul always looking to be inspired, to inspire and grow.” Desi Santiago

Written by Diana Choi

Edited by Christina Wright


Desi Santiago Official Website [Online] Available at [Accessed 10/6/16]

Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty Blog (2011) About the Exhibition [Online] Available at [Accessed 10/6/16]

Desi Santiago – This Pop is Perfection [Online] Available at [Accessed 14/6/16]