2 posts tagged "Prada Marfa"
Prada Marfa‘s somewhat infamous reputation remains firmly intact. The faux boutique, which last fall faced a legal foe in the form of the Texas Department of Transportation, was defaced on Sunday morning by a vandal calling himself TOMS Marfa. The building’s facade was stickered with the socially conscious espadrille titan’s logo, and spray-painted in TOMS’ signature powder blue hue. Seemingly worded for maximum provocation, a manifesto left on-site offered up the following: “TOMS Marfa will bring greater inspiration to consumer Americans to give all they have to developing nations that suffer disease, starvation, and corruption. So long as you buy TOMS shoes, and endorse Jesus Christ as your savior, welcoming the ‘white’ him into your heart. So help you God, otherwise you’re damned to hell.” Guerrilla philanthropy, performance art, or fanatical vandalism? Only time will tell.
Even if you’ve never seen Prada Marfa—and unless you’ve made a pilgrimage to rural Texas’ unlikely outpost of conceptual art, you probably haven’t—you’ve no doubt heard of it. The eerie adobe installation in the middle of the Texas desert was created by the artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset in 2005. Though it is made to resemble a store, it is arguably more of a sculpture, given that it’s not open for business (or open at all—the doors are permanently locked). And it is not an official Prada location, though Elmgreen and Dragset did receive the company’s permission to use the logo, and the house donated Prada bags and shoes for the windows, albeit bottomless bags and only right shoes to prevent looting.
Most critics see Prada as a comment of sorts on consumer culture. Is it also an advertisement for a luxury brand? That’s what the Texas Department of Transportation is now arguing. And for that reason, the installation is in jeopardy of being removed.
“According to law, Prada Marfa is considered outdoor advertising, and a state license and permit are required. Prada Marfa does not have either of those,” said Texas Department of Transportation representative Veronica Beyer. “Obviously we appreciate artwork, and we enjoy seeing it across our beautiful state. But like all other outdoor signs, we have to make sure that they follow federal and state law,” she continued. “The real big issue here is that 10 percent of our federal transportation funding is tied to us following these laws. We are at risk of losing 10 percent of federal highway funding—which is huge for Texas.” When asked if the federal government had actually made any such threat, Beyer responded, “We need to check that out for you.” Continue Reading “The State Of Texas Vs. Prada Marfa” »