|Artist||Elmgreen and Dragset|
|Type||Adobe, plaster, paint, glass panes, aluminum frames, MDF, carpet|
|Dimensions||4.6 m × 7.6 m (15 ft × 25 ft)|
|Location||US 90, Valentine, Texas|
Prada Marfa is a permanently installed sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, situated 2.3 km (1.4 mi) northwest of Valentine, Texas, just off U.S. Route 90, and about 60 km (37 mi) northwest of the city of Marfa. The installation was inaugurated on October 1, 2005. The artists called the work a "pop architectural land art project." The sculpture, realized with the assistance of American architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, cost US $80,000 and was intended to never be repaired, so it might slowly degrade back into the natural landscape. This plan was deviated from when, three days after the sculpture was completed, vandals graffitied the exterior, and broke into the building stealing handbags and shoes.
Designed to resemble a Prada store, the building is made of "adobe bricks, plaster, paint, glass pane, aluminum frame, MDF, and carpet." The installation's door is nonfunctional. On the front of the structure there are two large windows displaying actual Prada wares, shoes and handbags, picked out and provided by Miuccia Prada herself from the fall/winter 2005 collection; Prada allowed Elmgreen and Dragset to use the Prada trademark for this work. Prada had already collaborated with Elmgreen and Dragset in 2001 when the artists attached signage to the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York City with the (false) message "Opening soon - PRADA". Prada Marfa is located relatively close to Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation. The minimalism of Prada's usual displays that are mimicked in this work play off the minimalism that Judd is known for as an artist. The sculpture was financed by the Art Production Fund (APF) and Ballroom Marfa, a center of contemporary art and culture.
A few days after Prada Marfa was officially revealed, the installation was vandalized. The building was broken into and all of its contents (six handbags and 14 right footed shoes) were stolen, and the word "Dumb" and the phrase "Dum Dum" were spray painted on the sides of the structure. The sculpture was quickly repaired, repainted, and restocked. The new Prada purses do not have bottoms and instead hide parts of a security system that alerts authorities if the bags are moved.
The Texas Department of Transportation is currently discussing the fate of the installation now that it considers it a billboard that does not fit permitted specifications. No finalization has been made regarding the installation and its location.
- Wilson, Eric (September 29, 2005). "Front Row; Little Prada in the Desert". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- "Prada Marfa". Sedition Art. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Jodidio, Philip (2007). Architecture Now! (5) (Slovenia: Taschen). p. 202. ISBN 978-3-8228-1810-7.
- Mendelsohn, Adam (October 2005). "Stealing the Show". Artforum.
- Novovitch, Barbara (October 8, 2005). "Vandal Hated the Art, but, Oh, Those Shoes". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- Beal, Daphne (November 22, 2009). "In Marfa, Texas, Minimalist Art and Maximum Flavor". Boston Globe. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- Llorca, Juan Carlos (September 23, 2013). "TxDOT: Prada Marfa is illegal roadside ad; Structure installed in 2005 along a rural highway". Austin, TX: KXAN-TV. Retrieved September 25, 2013.