Prada Marfa Beats TxDOT
Prada Marfa is safe: Famed art installation can stay in West Texas
It's been a rough year for Prada Marfa, the famed art installation located on a lone road in West Texas. In September 2013, the Texas Department of Transportation threatened to remove the piece, calling it "outdoor advertising." In the spring, Prada Marfa had another setback when it was vandalized and painted blue overnight. (Vandals have continued to target it.)
But Prada Marfa, tourist destination and beloved star of a Beyonce Instagram, is safe. TxDOT has confirmed to the Associated Press that after a year of negotiations, the art installation will now be classified as a museum and will stay in its current location.
"TxDOT appreciates and values the cultural significance of Prada Marfa, and we are happy to have found a win-win solution that keeps it in its current location," John Barton, the department's deputy executive director, told the AP.
The Prada Marfa hubbub began after Playboy installed a 40-foot neon bunny sign, designed by artist Richard Phillips, that was deemed illegal advertising. In November 2013, the bunny was removed and later showed up in Dallas as part of Phillips' spring 2014 exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary.
Under the same rules, Prada Marfa was also classified as advertising, despite the fact that it was created by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset and not actually associated with the renowned fashion house.
The aptly named Save Prada Marfa, which was formed to fight for the piece, claimed victory on its Facebook page, saying, "I wanted to express my gratitude to everyone who supported this important artwork by sharing this page, by making phone calls and writing letters to the good folks at TxDOT."
Prada Marfa was installed in 2005. For nearly a decade, the West Texas installation has been a can't-miss stop for art-loving travelers, Texas road trippers and Marfa-bound tourists.