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On the Road...Marfa, TX

February 13, 2015

Big Sky: Marfa, Texas

We shot in the area around Marfa several years ago and decided to return to shoot only in this far-from-everything town in southwestern Texas. Not easy to get to, we flew into the closest airport then had a 3-hour drive.

Highlights of the journey: An occasional Union Pacific train, border checkpoints and a new time zone. Marfa is home to the Chinati Foundation, which features minimalist, contemporary art and was originally conceived by Donald Judd. The foundation houses many permanent exhibitions that are inextricably linked to the environments where they are sited. This has definitely put Marfa on the map, and attracts an eclectic group of residents that are far from boring. In fact, after a couple of days, we had many friends and felt like locals ourselves.


All Crew On Deck: Shooting a potential cover at sunset


The Chinati Foundation: On the tour. ABOVE “Untitled” by Dan Flavin (or “Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green and Other Colors in the Work of Dan Flavin”). This is housed in 6 of the original barracks on the 340-acre property.


Local Color: Word on the street is that Marfa is now considered "weirder than Austin"


Getting Around: Our favorite mode of transportation was our bicycles. We had a whole fleet and rode everywhere (the town, by the way, covers about 1.6 square miles)


The Evolution of a Cover: Valerie and Robert, owners of the gallery/print shop called “Arber and Son Editions” shown above, were so generous. The area around their gallery was one of our favorite, go-to locations, and they made it way better by allowing us to shoot out front, monopolize parking, and put props in their windows. We got to meet their (photogenic) friends, who were also hanging out (ABOVE, LEFT). We liked the attitude so much, we decided to try it for a cover with one of our models (ABOVE, RIGHT)


Rush Hour: Highland Avenue (the main drag), Marfa, Texas. That’s about as easy as it gets to park a Penske filled with merchandise, props, photo equipment...


Cats and Dogs: We experienced this a lot. Fast and furious rain–followed by rainbows, sunshine, and spectacular light. The buildings all have a sun-drenched quality, and many retain their authenticity. Perfect for Sundance.


Prada, Marfa: There is one other thing to look out for during the 3-hour drive. Above, Prada, Marfa, by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. It was inaugurated in 2005, and is really in Valentine, Texas. It is not an actual store, but instead considered a permanently installed sculpture. It is built of a biodegradable adobe-like substance, and will hopefully slowly melt back into the ground. NOTE: To prevent vandalism, all of the shoes (actual Prada merchandise) are right-foot only.


Marfa: Worth the trip