Sergio De Loof: Never Heard of Me?

Year 2020
Spanish/English bilingual edition
Texts: Belén Coluccio, Mariano del Mazo, Sergio De Loof, Carolina Muzi, Victoria Noorthoorn, Lucrecia Palacios and Wustavo Quiroga
Graphic design: Eduardo Rey
Translation: Ian Barnett and Kit Maude

316 pages
Format: 24x28 cm
ISBN 978-987-673-609-1

An artist, creator, set and interior designer, video and theatre director and decorator, Sergio de Loof (Buenos Aires, 1962-2020) was a key figure in the birth of an artistic aesthetic that defined the 1990s but most of all a catalyst for new forms of social relations in which art was combined with fashion, community-based organization and production forms with major brands and public relations, and high, classical culture with popular expressions. In his designs and promotion of night clubs as well as in an endless stream of fashion shows, videos, plays and other projects, Sergio De Loof created an aesthetic and emotional refuge for those who didn’t fit the conventional conceptions of beauty, class, sexual orientation or identity of the art, fashion or nightlife circuits of Buenos Aires. Part of a never-ending quest to realize the artistic life he wanted on the means that were available to him, his ephemeral work contained a critical perspective that broke down the hitherto solid barriers between beauty, glamour and the subsistence economy of deprived areas of greater Buenos Aires.  

This book pays homage to De Loof’s work and legacy. In addition to documenting the exhibition Sergio De Loof: Never Heard of Me? held atthe Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, it features an introduction by Victoria Noorthoorn, a curatorial essay by Lucrecia Palacios, essays by Wustavo Quiroga, Mariano del Mazo and Carolina Muzi and an extensive and detailed chronology reconstructing Sergio De Loof’s artistic life in a context of radical change in the worlds of art, fashion, nightlife and culture of Buenos Aires.

Never Heard of me? De Loof repeats time and again from a Facebook page that he types into alone at night in capital letters with spelling mistakes from his house in Hudson, Buenos Aires Province. “I was behind the most legendary spaces at the beginning of the return of democracy like Bolivia or El Dorado; I was a fundamental figure in the construction of auteur fashion in Argentina in the early nineties, after 2000, a court of a hundred young artists designated me a cult artist.” “I’m a commonerin disguise,” “I am the king of the underground,” “I am an aesthetic dictator,” “I’m self-taught,” “I’m a mixture of Almodóvar and Cristo,” “I make the best nights,” “I am my favourite artist.” In just another contradiction that also represents a different kind of success, it is possible that we might have heard his name, but are unaware of the vast extent of his oeuvre.

Lucrecia Palacios

It was high time that Argentine culture honoured and celebrated the work of Sergio De Loof, the brilliant artist who caused such a radical stir in Buenos Aires society in the late eighties with his hundreds of fashion shows and aesthetic creations that conjured atmospheres of celebration, happiness and joie de vivre so necessary to sections of society that had long suffered from oppression if not outright imprisonment during the military dictatorship.

 Victoria Noorthoorn

This publication was produced to accompany the exhibition Sergio De Loof: Never Heard of Me, opened by the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires on 28 November, 2019.