All Things Inspired By Desert Living & Loving ~ Big Bend Country, Far West Texas ~ Graphic Designs

Marfa Love: Past & Present Contemporary Art in Marfa

You never know when you’ll need your camera out.
Especially in Big Bend Country. A buffalo was on the side of the road one night. It was huge.
In my wildest dreams, I would have gotten a picture of that, but actually it was much too intimidating to stop for. Maybe behind the fence, but not alongside the road – it is so larger than life . . . in real life! Like I said though – you never know in Big Bend when you’ll encounter something absolutely amazing on the most scenic highways in Texas.
Oh yeah, I’m sayin’ it.

Anyhow, you’re probably cooler than me and this is no news, but when I started Instagram the world of hashtags opened up to me and a fun one is #Ipulledoverforthis – so apt for the following drive-by image I took in Marfa:
marfa car contemporary art installation”  width=
Yes, it’s a bit blurry, but super cool, right? Commuting is best when you get to sit back and take pictures out the window!
We were still hours from home after a long day in Alpine, Texas, so we were all eager to be home – so “No stopping for fun photos, mommy!”Considering, it turned out still good enough to share – a little haphazard in the moment kinda thing.

**Update: 05/31/15** This post was completed a couple of months ago when there didn’t appear to be much information about this art installation online. Today is a different story and I am back to provide the particulars. Blogging is a great way to keep your memory limber!

Here’s it is on the main page of the Marfa Contemporary website:

Marfa Contemporary website image

Marfa Contemporary website image @

Click on the above image if you want to take a gander at their website yourself.
Here’s the descriptive for this art exhibition by Gonzalo Lebrija: “La Sombra del Zopilote”:

“History of Suspended Time: Monument for the Impossible” Marfa, 2015.

Lebrija’s La Sombra del Zopilote abjures the middle range of sizes. Largeness is interactive; big needs small to conform it. Lebrija presents us with objects of infinitesimal smallness and interminable enormity; an impression of a space in which no viewer exists.

Just FYI – in case you are as unfamiliar with these Spanish terms. I used Google to translate:


Sorry I am unable to elaborate on the symbolism of “vulture” – remember I could hardly translate it. Art theory is beyond my field of expertise. I am very happy to share and am open to any thoughts you may have on it. Do not hesitate to comment!

Well, that’s my “present” contemporary art scene news for you. For the “past,” my drive-by art experience coincided with this article I encountered that touches on the founder of the art scene in Marfa. It’s so lovely and relevant. I was really excited to see Marfa was more prominently featured in mainstream media:
Huffington Post: Goodbye Marfa, Texas by Mallika Rao from March 2, 2015.

marfa article image 01”  width= Click on image for article Huffington Post: Goodbye Marfa, Texas

There’s some enchanting images that I am sharing here from the article. It summarizes the altogether altering impact of the contemporary artist, Donald Judd, when he revealed himself to Marfa. I especially like the following excerpt that really captures the native wonders of the small town – beyond the draw of its contemporary art scene.

Marfa is still a wonder. Above the scrub of cactus and waves of grass are the improbable galleries and restaurants — so spare and low you could mistake them for the adobe homes common to the region. Higher still rise elegant municipal buildings befitting a legislative capital (Marfa is the seat of Presidio County). A picture-perfect courthouse dolloped in cupolas contrasts with a block of bleached art deco buildings that form the square, each embellished with only a few colorful tiles. All of it shifts under the miracle that is West Texas light.

Wasn’t that a grand turn of phrasing? In my mind echoed the words, “So true, so true.”

article on Marfa collage image

Huffington Post: Goodbye Marfa, Texas

She also touches on some of the conflicts that arise when a small-town existence is altered by the influx of big-city personalities. With or without Judd? That existential question exists today on headlines, amongst Marfa citizens, young and old. Who knows the answer, but it is no question that life in Marfa was never the same once Donald Judd entered the scene. Nor has it stopped transitioning since he left his legacy there.

The famous Prada Marfa exhibit has been recently renovated as well as many other business buildings in the area. I love seeing renovation, especially in lovely small towns. The familiar and historical structures given new life with fresh coats of paint. Not being torn down and discarded, but rather rejuvenated and cherished.

Does this intrigue you about Marfa? About Donald Judd?
Here are a few references for you, in case you would like some lovely books and/or video with ample images and information on both.
These three listed below are available at


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  1. October 13, 2015    

    Wow wow – looks like a cool place – and love your pics!

    • October 13, 2015    

      Thanks so much Clare – it is a gem of a place. I have so much to share about it and hope you come along for the ride!

  2. October 13, 2015    

    How crazy! I’ve never heard of Marfa before today, and now this is the second post I’ve read on the place. I’m dying to make a cross country road trip, so this must now be added to the destination list. Great shots!

    • October 13, 2015    

      Jaimee – Once you get Marfa Texas on your radar, all of a sudden you notice what an inspiration it is and how prominent it is in the media for creatives. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm. I truly hope that you make that trip some day soon. Life’s too short to not follow your heart.

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