Desi Santiago inflates Juanita More's Pride party plans


Does the idea of one of SF's best-known drag fashionistas rendered in massivem inflatable form excite you? You then, are the target audience for this item of news: Juanita More has announced that multimedia artist Desi Santiago will lend his dark, dramatic style to her yearly Pride party in 2013 as its set designer. 

"Desi is someone with great vision," More told me in an email. That vision has produced black dogs that swallowed a South Beach hotel whole, outfits that appear to be made from different garments when viewed from various vantage points, atmospheric runway sets, and extravagant works various couture happenings.

After he visited the Jones 620 rooftop where this year's June 30th party will be held. It was only the Puerto Rican-via-New Jersey artist's second trip to San Francisco, and my Instagram feed told me that More had celebrated with him over homemade pernil. I chatted with Santiago about what, exactly he means with this plan for balloon Juanita.

"I'm taking her body apart," he said. "I'm exploding Juanita's body. I don't know how much I should give away at this point. But we're working on an intereactive experience wehere you get to interact with her body." One of those ways, he said, will be via a "giant" version of the drag queen -- reminiscent of his work he did converting the Lords Hotel into "Black Lords," an installation that saw the hotel morph into a red-eyed black dog. 

"[Juanita] has a heart of gold, and she's fierce," he said as towards his motivation for accepting the gig. This isn't the pair's first collaboration -- More's played Santiago's Van Dam party in New York. "I booked her because I loved her but when she spun," he told me. "She kind of kicked my ass. She really turned it out." Man can appreciate a good scene-setter.

But who's to say, really, what the Pride blow-out (tickets available in June) will end up looking like.

"I'm interested in creating completely consuming environments that make you leave the norm," the artist told me. Santiago's resume includes work in bondage costume design, metalwork, sculpture, set design. For more on the artist, check out his March 2012 New York Times profile

Severino (Horse Meat Disco, UK), Derek Opperman (Gemini Disco, SF), and Kim Ann Foxman (NYC) have all been announced as DJs for the afternoon party. More was also stoked to tell me about her flyer designer, De La Soul and Snoop Dogg video vet and Bay Area local visual artist Serge Gay Jr.

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