Culture

Around Marfa, Texas with Caroline and Jayden Lee

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden: A sign reading 'Marfa'.

Marfa, Texas has become somewhat of an unlikely must-visit destination. A small town (it has a population of less than 2,000) perched in the high desert of the Trans-Pecos, the last few decades have seen the once-railroad water stop become a minimalist art hub and cultural phenomenon.

Marfa’s transformation began in 1971, when New York-based artist Donald Judd moved to the town, acquired an old military base and filled it with large minimalist art installations – now signature pieces of the landscape. Other minimalist artists soon joined Judd – Dan Flavin, John Chamberlain, John Wesley, Roni Horn and Ilya Kabakov among them – and the town got a new identity; one of cutting-edge new culture and an art destination to rival the best of them.

Writers, creative types, cutting-edge hotels and ambitious restaurants followed, making this once-unknown outpost in the desert fashionable – just think of the Prada, Marfa installation; the faux Prada boutique created in 2005 by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Gragset, and you’ll realise the status this town now holds.

A few years ago, photography husband-and-wife duo Caroline and Jayden Lee (aka Woodnote Photography) captured the essence of Marfa, from the famous Food Shark food truck and typical Mexican-inspired buildings of the area, to the abandoned mid-century truck stops and the aforementioned Prada boutique. Take a look at their photographs below, and then start planning your trip.

To see more of their work, visit the Woodnote Photography website.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: A sign reading 'see mystery lights' on a white wall.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: An old VW camper van turned into a food cart.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: An old-fashion cinema called 'Palace'.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: A colourful painting of the Virgin Mary on the side of a white building.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: A series of collage artwork across an old, white wall.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: The front of a bungalow with a small statue of a donkey pulling a cart in front.

Around Marfa Texas Caroline and Jayden Lee: A small, detached Prada shop against an expanse of blue sky and desert.

Words by Angharad Jones. Images property of Woodnote Photography



Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert