Richard Phillips’ Playboy Marfa Installation Might Be Illegal

July 5, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

Some Texans aren’t fans of a new Richard Phillips and Playboy’s installation. The iconic forty-foot Playboy bunny logo that’s accompanied by an all black 1972 Dodge Charger that sits atop a small concrete structure was installed without any of the proper permits. The necessary permits for such an artwork technically fall into the realm of the type required for an advertisement, and since the infamous site-specific work contains a glaring neon lit Playboy bunny logo, this could mean an eventual removal of the work itself.

The Texas Department of Transportation has issued a statement saying that the “structure must be removed within 45 days.” In a response, Playboy has stated that “We do not believe that the art installation by Richard Phillips violates any laws, rules or regulations. Our legal counsel is currently looking into this matter and we hope to resolve this issue satisfactorily and as quickly as possible.”

Installations like this in Texas are not exactly a new occurrence: Prada Marfaa permanently installed sculpture created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset in 2005, featured a deserted Prada store amidst the vast desert landscape.

Welcome to the undefinable gray area between artwork and advertisement.