Prada Marfa is an art installation created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset in 2005. The 15 ft. by 25 ft. art sculpture is situated northwest of Marfa, Texas in Valentine, Texas. As the name suggests, the sculpture is designed to resemble a Prada store with windows, bags, and shoes. Of course, the bags are bottomless and the shoes are only for your right foot to prevent looting. The Prada Marfa sculpture is known internationally in the fashion and art world, and now Marfa, Texas has become a destination for young artists. However, the Texas Department of Transportation sees Prada Marfa more as an illegal advertisement than as art, and after 8 years, they are reviewing the legality of the structure.
Recently a Playboy bunny sculpture was installed near Prada Marfa, shining light on roadside art. When TxDot deemed the Playboy statue as illegal, the Prada Marfa store became a concern as well. The legal issue is that neither installation had an advertising permit, which is required by Texas law. Veronica Beyer, spokeswoman for TxDot, claimed that "Prada, Marfa and the site it occupies does not comply with federal and state laws." While the building has the rights from the fashion house to use their name and logo, some say it's not an advertisement for Prada. It's a critical statement about commercialism and current consumerism, according to fans of the installation and art historians.
While the Playboy installation was ordered to be removed, Prada, Marfa is still standing and has no plans to be removed. If something does happen, Elmgreen and Dragset have already decided to erect the building elsewhere. So, what are your thoughts? Is Prada, Marfa thought-provoking art or unwanted advertising?