Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get there, you get it.
Marfa, Texas: An alluring, odd, art-filled place on the edge of Western Texas.
Donald Judd was an artist who came to define American Minimalism. Leaving Soho in the early 1970s, he went in search for an actual space he considered "better than paint on a surface." Revolutionizing art, Judd carefully selected environments, in both of his residents in New York and Marfa, Texas, for the permanent installation of works. His belief was that "art and architecture--all the arts--do not have to exist in isolation." --Donald Judd, 1986
Judd loved imperfect multiples. His signature works repeat a concept--rows of aluminum boxes each cut with unique angles and sized by the Fibonacci Sequence. Learn more about Judd's Marfa works and explore the spaces here.
Pop Architectural Land Art Project
In 2015 the pop architectural project, Prada Marfa, opened. Scandinavian art duo, Elmgreen and Dragset, created a photogenic fake store stocked with actual Prada products. The artists consulted Miuccia Prada herself for the project who handpicked merchandise for the store.
The building is made with a biodegradable adobe-like substance, which will cause it to slowly melt back into the earth. The project serves as a surrealistic interpretation on Western materialism. Ironically, the project cost about $80,000, or in fashion terms, approximately 40 Prada handbags.
After theft and vandalism occurred at the store's early inception, it has now been refitted with security alarms, stronger windows, the bags have no bottoms, and all of the shoes are right-footed.
In Marfa too, every new attraction channels the last, while changing the spirit of the whole enterprise ever so slightly. Each alteration makes Marfa seem less the middle of nowhere and more the center of the universe. Tourism and diversified demographics, which now include the world's wealthy who are snatching up the real estate, continue to alter Judd's original utopia. And yet, Marfa is still a wonder. A serene, minimalistic experience of the accepted in the midst of the unconventional. Art galleries and restaurants intermix between the expected cactus and waves of grass fields. All of which marry Judd's original vision that multiple art forms do not have to exist in isolation, but rather they enhance each other when joined. Marfa: expect the unexpected and enjoy the serenity of it all.