In the middle of nowhere West Texas, there sits a paradox: a Prada store alone in the desert, with thousands of yearly visitors but never any customers.
First opened to an audience of befuddled cowboys in October 2005, the infamous sculpture that combines art, architecture, fashion and tourism is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
With a permanent display of six bags and 14 shoes (but only the left half!) resting on shelves in that iconic pale Prada green, it is as though the tornado from “The Wizard of Oz” plucked the exhibit up from the streets of a European fashion mecca and plopped it precisely into a sparse, arid wasteland.
Over the last decade, the work of artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset has been robbed, defaced, and completely trashed.
In 2014, an artist/vandal by the name 9271977 covered the sculpture with TOMS shoes stickers, painted the walls blue, and glued posters to the windows. Recently, it was threatened with complete demolition for being an illegal advert, but was instead declared a museum with a single exhibit.
Nonetheless, Prada Marfa still stands strong. Since its creation, the installation has become an unintentional Pinterest hit thanks to a painting seen on the hit TV show “Gossip Girl,” and the fashion girl’s Statue of Liberty after a visit from the queen herself – Beyoncé.
But through the selfies, Elmgreen and Dragset hope sightseers are still able to see the absurdity (and comedy) of this kind of luxury world.