When the Big Bend Sentinel broke the news on May 30 of the Playboy Marfa installation plans, the story quickly spread to the arts journals and arts blogs. It was almost as quickly erected (finished mid-June) just outside of Marfa by New York contemporary artist Richard Phillips and Playboy’s Creative Director of Special Projects Neville Wakefield.
Within days after that, reports the El Paso Times, Marfa CPA Lineaus Lorette filed a complaint that led to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) decision to declare the sculpture a sign without a permit. “I was really ambivalent. It’s a beautifully made sign,” Lorette said. “The problem is that it’s a sign. The rules have to apply to everybody.
TxDot has now given Playboy 45 days to remove the sculpture.