Playboy commissioned an artist to install a car with a giant playboy bunny sign not too far from Prada Marfa. I haven’t seen it yet, because I have no desire to. It’s not a true art installation. It’s an advertisement under the guise of an installation, paid for by the corporation.
This is an “illegal outdoor advertising sign” in the eyes of the Texas Department of Transportation and violates the 1965 Highway Beautification Act.
Prada didn’t pay to have a small boutique built with their namesake in the West Texas desert. They only allowed it to happen by agreeing to let the artists use their logo. It’s the work of two Scandinavian artists.
The Playboy installation brought attention to Prada Marfa, which has recently been found to be in violation of the same “advertising” law.
The last time I visited Prada Marfa, a few of my photographs turned out a bit eerie. Like a ghost was hovering in front of the lens. These faded images have not been altered in any way. They were taken with a Holga CFN on 200 cross process 120mm film.
Pro tip: There are NO bathrooms between Marfa and Valentine. It’s just over 30 minutes away from Marfa. You end up not having access to a bathroom for quite some time. Use the restroom before leaving Marfa.
I hope Prada Marfa doesn’t become a distant memory just because Playboy wanted to be cool with a younger generation. Is that even what they were trying to do? Art installation advertisements? I guess it’s better than a billboard.
Pro Tip: Corporations, leave the Big Bend Region alone!
May your journey be your muse,