Well, readers, Prada Marfa got a wee makeover this week. A vandal took to the famous installation and transformed it into TOMS Marfa. Yes, TOMS, as in the purveyor of summer 2009's favorite slip-on "shoes for tomorrow."
Vandal-artist (it's a thing) called 9271997 painted the sides of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset's installation blue while stringing TOMS banners from the Prada awnings. 9271997 left behind a manifesto calling for social equality through the consumption of the shoes. A video of the defacement can be found here.
9271997's plug for his own work by using Elmgreen & Dragset's as a canvas is, understandably, upsetting. The nonprofit behind Prada Marfa (officially called Ballroom Marfa) released a statement saying, "Public art like Prada Marfa encourages engagement." But, due to the large scale of 9271997's effort, that engagement is stopped. "No decisions have been made other than that Ballroom Marfa and Art Production Fund will restore Prada Marfa, and it will remain a public site," the statement concluded. The dialogue the site initiates will, thankfully, continue. Whether that means having a police car stationed for security is up in the air, but, in the world of art, that might even work to enhance Elmgreen & Dragset's concept. (Complex)