Don’t ask me why there are over 3,000 views of the most basic video that I shot and posted on YouTube after visiting the Prada Marfa “sculpture installation” for the first time in January 2013.
It’s not even in Marfa. It’s actually a solid 30 minute drive west of Marfa just outside of the very lonely and remote town of Valentine, Texas (Population 134).
I’m amazed by how many think it’s an actual Prada boutique! Seriously people…
There are zero coffee shops nearby so don’t even think about grabbing a cappucino as a reward after making the 30 minute schlep to see this curiosity. There is nothing going on in Valentine. Nothing. Except a dentist which is an oddity in itself considering the overall situation. If you’re lucky you might see some tumbleweed blowing around.
I don’t intend to diminish the value of making the journey. The entire experience of traveling there and back from wherever you are staying in the Big Bend area makes it worth the trip. The landscape is stunning. I love the isolation and emptiness.
Still, Prada Marfa for most is one of those “been there and done that” kind of places. I’m not included in the “for most” category as I’ve returned over the years with my wife, bringing friends and family to check out what reportedly TxDOT originally considered to be an illegal “billboard advertisement.” later reclassifying it as a museum.
The structure, the land and the light throw out a different look for each visit. We’ve managed two visits in winter, and two in summer.
Reportedly the shoes and handbags are real, chosen and provided and provided by Miuccia Prada herself from the fall/winter 2005 collection.
By the way, you can’t go in! There is no functioning door despite the appearance of one. Again, it’s not real boutique. According to artists Elmgreen and Dragset it’s a “pop architectural land art project.”
Below: Visit #4 in August 2016. This photo also appears in my West Texas gallery.