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Prada Marfa

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2005, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Jörg Böttger; Elmgreen and Dragset, artists. U.S. 90, 2 miles north of Valentine.

Standing alone in the vast, open landscape between the Davis Mountains and the Sierra Vieja above Wild Horse Draw, the off-white stucco box might be another remnant of past prosperity, which in a sense it is. The adobe and aluminum window wall structure is a “pop architectural land art project” by Berlin-based artists Elmgreen and Dragset that replicates a fashion display window of women’s shoes (for the right foot only) and purses (without bottoms) made by the Italian luxury brand Prada in their 2005 line. It is built on private land leased by the Ballroom Marfa Foundation, which commissioned the work. The installation has survived vandalism, theft, and attempts by the Texas Department of Transportation to demolish it as a nonconforming advertising billboard. In late 2014, it was reclassified as a single-exhibit museum, a critique of ephemeral fashion. Prada Marfa was built to be biodegradable, but apparently it will be maintained and endure.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.



Gerald Moorhead et al., "Prada Marfa", [Valentine, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 453-453.

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