Marfa, creative oasis for artists

On the road leading to Marfa, in the middle of nowhere, a shop of the luxury brand Prada appears, where nothing is for sale. It is actually a work of art that announces the uniqueness of this city with 2000 souls, where there are no less than 19 galleries and visual art exhibitions.

A fake shop on a deserted road

Many people get their pictures taken outside the fake Prada store in Marfa, Texas.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

creative intersections

It all started 50 years ago, on a disused military base, where German prisoners from World War II were brought. For copyright reasons, we can not show much of what we can see there because the Chinati Foundation manages the legacy of Donald Judd, a New York minimalist artist whose creations are on display on site. He has in a way made Marfa a true creative crossroads.

A sign advertising Marfa, along a road in the desert.

The city of Marfa, Texas, in the middle of the Chihuahua desert, one hour from the Mexican border

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

Tourists come from all over the world to see strange forms of concrete, metal on displayexplains John Karst, guide for the Chinati Foundation.

There really is a connection that Donald Judd created here that led to the creation of this unique artistic community by Marfa. »

A quote from John Karst, Chinati Foundation guide

In Marfa, it is thus whispered that every fourth person defines himself as an artist.

Julie Speed ​​in front of a painting in a workshop

Artist Julie Speed, who settled in Marfa 15 years ago, appreciates the serenity of creating.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

Among all these creators is the artist Julie Speed, who settled here 15 years ago. His paintings sell everywhere for tens of thousands of dollars.

That those curious who go to Marfa at certain times of the year then leave the small town is good for Julie Speed, who prefers the tranquility. There is no one here. To me, it’s isolation. I like having space and not having to do anything social.

Facade of an art gallery where you can read

One of 19 art galleries in Marfa, Texas

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

There is a stream of tourists and then everyone goes. Afterwards, it’s like the bushes swirling around the street. And everyone who lives here breathes a sigh of relief.

To be an artist far from the big cities

Montrealer Magalie Guérin also chose Marfa. : \”Ah New York!\” Après ça, Chicago: \”Ah Chicago!\” Et puis là, Marfa, les gens disent: \”Euh, quoi?\””,”text”:”Je vis dans une petite ville, mais on est dans le désert, ça m’impressionne tellement. C’est un gros changement, surtout pour quelqu’un qui a toujours vécu dans les grandes villes. Quand je dis New York, c’est: \”Ah New York!\” Après ça, Chicago: \”Ah Chicago!\” Et puis là, Marfa, les gens disent: \”Euh, quoi?\””}}”>I live in a small town but we are in the desert, it impresses me so much. It’s a big change, especially for someone who has always lived in big cities. When I say New York, it’s: “Ah New York!” Then Chicago: “Ah Chicago!” And then there, Marfa, people say, “Uh, what?”

Magalie Guérin leaned over her desk.

The abstract artist Magalie Guérin decided to settle in Marfa.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

As an abstract artist, she decided to settle here after a stay at the Chinati Foundation. I feel it is necessary for any artist to come here at least once to visit. Now you no longer have to be in the big cities to be a part of the movement. Life can be a little more comfortable, simple, beautiful in terms of the environment.

So is Marfa a muse? Here the residents agree.

Since I came here in 2018, the colors of my paintings have changed a lot. »

A quote from Magalie Guérin, abstract artist
Julie Speed ​​in front of paintings

The paintings by Julie Speed, an artist from Marfa, sell everywhere for tens of thousands of dollars.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

Everyone asked me how my painting had evolved since Marfa, Julie Speed ​​explains. Now I’m much better at painting clouds.

Marfa, also at night

Marfa, the artist, also lives at night. In the dark, in the middle of a field, Rob Mazurek, a musician from Chicago who plays all over the world, performs one of his pieces of music on the trumpet, while giant screens project a tangle of psychedelic colors. He also chose the city of Texas.

A trumpeter plays his instrument.

Rob Mazurek, a Chicago musician who plays around the world, performs one of his trumpet pieces in a Marfa field at night.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

personnes, mais c’est incroyablement riche culturellement, pas juste dans les arts visuels, mais aussi dans la littérature et la musique. C’est absolument inspirant et je ne suis pas près de partir d’ici”,”text”:”C’est l’idée d’être plus spontané et sérieux dans la création qui m’a attiré ici. C’est une ville de 2000personnes, mais c’est incroyablement riche culturellement, pas juste dans les arts visuels, mais aussi dans la littérature et la musique. C’est absolument inspirant et je ne suis pas près de partir d’ici”}}”>It was the idea of ​​being more spontaneous and serious in creation that attracted me here. It is a city of 2,000 people, but it is incredibly rich culturally, not only in the field of visual arts, but also in literature and music. It’s absolutely inspiring and I’m not going to leave herewitnesses the musician.

desert plants

Right in the middle of the Chihuahua desert, an hour from the Mexican border, lies the small Texas town of Marfa.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Frédéric Arnould

Far from the hustle and bustle of big cities, Marfa continues to be a magnet for artists. A corner of the country out of time, where culture survives and shines, in the middle of the desert.

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