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Santiago’s "The Black Lords" to Envelop Lords South Beach

Saturday Nov 17, 2012
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New York, NY - BOFFO announced a larger than life public art installation by The New York Times "Artist in the Moment," Desi Santiago, from December 3rd - 9th during Art Basel Miami Beach 2012. With their commitment to produce some of the most innovative public art today, BOFFO has partnered with Perrier® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and Lords South Beach to provide Desi Santiago with a building-sized commission, literally using Lords South Beach as a canvas for his work.

Upon visiting the installation, guests enter a traditional art deco neighborhood, full of refreshing candy colored buildings with the ocean, blue sky, and characteristic palm trees as a backdrop. In stark contrast, Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach will stand out, shifting the neighborhood into its wicked Wonderland, making the passerby stop and wonder.

Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach is the transformation of Lords South Beach into a ravenous black dog named Gypsy that often appears throughout Desi’s work. Upon closer inspection, visitors will find an assemblage utilizing low-fi materials such as construction netting and inflatable parts. A looming head overlooks the courtyard, menacing paws flank the entrance, and a whipping tail finds its way in the back.


After the large gesture is taken in, visitors will then be able to participate in a multi-sensory ritual evoking the dark and macabre subculture Desi is known for. They will also be able to have their fortune told by Gypsy. When asking simple questions, Gypsy will respond through her laser eyes, smoke, and sounds of her running, panting, and barking.

Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach, is the largest-scale project in Desi Santiago’s career, marking a certain "moment" in his fast rising status. Appropriately opening during Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami, and several other smaller art fairs during Miami Art Week, Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach will be one of the largest public art installations during this increasingly popular winter destination for the art elite and enthusiasts.

Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach will be open daily from 11am to 2am at Lords South Beach located at 1120 Collins Avenue (at 11th Street) in Miami Beach, Florida. Two private parties will celebrate the opening of Perrier® Presents The Black Lords at Lords South Beach. On Tuesday evening there will be a VIP Penthouse party and Thursday evening the third annual Midnight in Miami party.


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 303 Gallery, Matthew Marks Gallery, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, Deitch Projects, MoMA PS1, Asia Song Society, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museé des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. Santiago was recently profiled in the Style section of The New York Times. He is represented by Envoy Enterprises.

BOFFO fosters collaborations between artists, designers, communities, theorists, and the media in the exploration of contemporary subject matter that informs and educates the public, through innovative, participatory programming. BOFFO is the conduit between the emerging and the established, the obscure and the adored, the profound and the profane. BOFFO is always on the move repurposing spaces.

For over a century Perrier® has collaborated with some of the world’s most famous and distinguished artists, including Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Bernard Villemot. The iconic green bottle is recognized around the world as the number one sparkling natural mineral water.

Lords, the first gay boutique hotel brand in the country and Miami’s headquarters for queer culture, opened in January 2011 and has quickly become the vanguard for the modern gay-friendly boutique hotel.

The hotel encourages a proud, playful experience and fosters a sense of community for guests and locals alike. Lords has a strong commitment to the arts and to giving back to the LGBT community.

For more information regarding Desi’s work, please contact: office@envoyenterprises.com or www.boffo-ny.org

For more information about Lords South Beach, visit: www.lordssouthbeach.com

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This article is part of our "Winter 2013" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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