”Prada” store in Texas, USA. At the sunsets, filled with a sense of accomplishment as seeing the art that shines in the silence and melts into the wilderness.
Prada Marfa is a brand store in the wilderness of Texas, USA. It is not a real store, it is artwork. Inside the building, Prada bags and shoes are on display. However cannot go inside, no store clerk.
This is a fine artwork. It is in the category of pop art or land art. A long time ago, Andy Warhol made a drawing of “Canned Campbell’s Soup” and a box containing a dishwashing pad called “Brillo”. It must have a small implication of antithesis to consumer culture.
The place is the West Texas countryside, no, the wilderness. It is along State Route 90, nothing around. It is in the middle of the wilderness. Marfa is the closest town. Marfa is a small town with a population of about 2,000 people and many galleries. A gallery in Marfa called “Ballroom Marfa” and an organization called “Art Production Fund” provide operating funds for Prada Marfa.
To get to Marfa, flying into El Paso, the nearest gate city, then driving a car. It takes about 3 hours from El Paso to Marfa. Prada Marfa appears on the right hand side of the direction, about 60 km before Marfa.
The size of the building is about 8m (width) x 3m (depth) x 5m (height). There is a door on the front. Inside the store, there were 7 shoes x 3 steps = 21 shoes, and 3 bags x 2 places = 6 bags. In addition, there is a story that the building was vandalized immediately after this artwork opened in 2005, and now it has a surveillance camera. It is installed inside the building and on the upper left of the front outside wall. In addition, there are padlocks left by visitors on the iron fence standing at the back side of the building.
The surrounding area is the Chihuahua Desert, the largest desert in the United States. The contrast with the vast wilderness behind this Prada shop is wonderful. The scenery of this artwork is not so surprising because it is often seen in the media. However it is an artwork that can be enjoyed, including the process of discovering this location. One way to exhibit artworks is to place them in places that are difficult to access so that the viewer can enjoy the process of finding the artwork. Prada Marfa falls into this category. It is an experiential artwork.
I visited this place twice during the day and once at dusk, and both times there were visitors. At dusk, the visitors who had come earlier left, leaving the space in front of the artwork to myself, and the surrounded in silence. As the sun began to set and the surroundings began to darken, and the lights inside emits to outside, the heterogeneity of the artwork existed in this wilderness increases, and I felt something special this artwork is asking.
Considering that State Route 90 in front of the artwork has an unexpectedly large amount of traffic during the daytime and there are many visitors, it is recommended to visit during the period from spring to summer when the days are long, from dusk to night. I think it is good by all means, even if it takes time, recommend to visit with the town of Marfa.
Visited in 2023.
■ Name : Prada Marfa
■ Address : 14880 US-90, Valentine, Texas, USA
・The interior of the store is lit in the evening (it is not certain whether it is lit all night).
(described on Aug 5 2023)