The Lights Stay on for Prada Marfa

The year 2005 brought the arrival of a Prada boutique to a desolate strip of U.S. 90 in West Texas.  Never meant to be a functioning boutique, the white stucco walls and grey awnings of the Prada Marfa, an installation by Berlin artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, stand as a bit of a Dorothy in the Oz of Texas, a little mirage in the big desert.

Image by Lizette Kabré, courtesy Ballroom Marfa

Image by Lizette Kabré, courtesy Ballroom Marfa

Prada Marfa was meant as a commentary on the ubiquitous rise of the luxury brand, the unchecked prices and uber exclusivity that comes from the acquisition of any luxe product.  Simply put, it does the trick, being that Marfa, a town of just under 1,900 people known for its artistic community and Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation, would normally never be considered a location for a true Prada boutique.  In fact, the whole of Texas does not have a stand alone Prada boutique (aside from the permanently locked structure located 35 miles northwest of Marfa) save for pop-ups in Neiman Marcus.

However that may be, the Texas Department of Transportation felt it was much more, once calling it illegal roadside signage for the luxury brand.  Arguments ensued and the art world won out.  The Texas Department of Transportation announced this weekend that the Ballroom Marfa Foundation will be allowed to keep Prada Marfa, what the BBC considers one of America's strangest roadside attractions, standing. 

"Prada Marfa is not going anywhere", Daniel Chamberlin, spokeman for Ballroom Marfa told The Associate Press. 

And we're certainly glad it isn't.

Prada Marfa | www.ballroommarfa.org


DCoopMedia was not compensated for this post. Images courtesy Ballroom Marfa.