Ever been to Marfa, Texas? Located in the far western part of the state not far from the Mexican border, it's a tiny town that happens to be full of great restaurants, quirky art galleries, oddball cars and strange attractions. The last three come together in a new installation commissioned by Playboy featuring a Dodge Charger.
Should you find yourself out in the desert along Highway 90, then you should check out Playboy Marfa. It's a 40-foot tall neon Playboy bunny sign located next to a black 1972 Dodge Charger placed on a slanted, hollow concrete rectangle.
Is it art? Of course it's art. It's on the same strip of highway as the famous Prada Marfa, and that's art too. It was commissioned by Neville Wakefield and Landis Smithers, described by Culturemap Austin as "Playboy's new hip team in charge of reviving the brand for a younger generation." Here's what they said about it:
The piece was designed by Richard Phillips, the artist behind large-scale, Mad Men-esque, ultra-realistic portraits of women and pop culture icons inspired by magazines from the '50s, '60s and '70s. The art installation and its elements evoke a 1970s feel; Phillips cites Donald Judd and his art-meets-West Texas' sprawling empty land philosophies as a huge influence. The muscle car hints at a foregone time of luxury, and the similarity between this installation's concrete form and Judd's famous field of concrete sculptures is intentional.
I don't know what an old Dodge Charger really says about "foregone luxury." More like "foregone smoky burnouts." Still, I have to admit that it looks pretty cool up there. Here's a slightly-NSFW video of the attraction featuring 2013 Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun.
The installation is one of many that Playboy hopes will help reinvigorate their brand, or something. I guess it's hard for them to stay competitive when the Internet is full of free porn. (I always read it for the articles myself.)
If you ever find yourself in Marfa — and I highly recommend it, even though it's a hike — it's just one more interesting car attraction that needs checking out.