We live in an era of increased security, but still the Spanish painter Santi Moix was stunned by the number of men in black who circled him during the 48 hours he recently spent inside the Prada Epicenter store in SoHo. “Tons of them, looking like secret agents” kept tabs on him, he said, as he temporarily transformed the Rem Koolhaas-designed space. “Now you can go to Gagosian, they have security everywhere,” he added, “but Prada was the first to have protection for the bags and the shoes.”
But Moix posed no threat to the accessories, only to the walls. He was there to embellish a 200-foot image of a naked model, designed by the design studio 2×4, a longtime Prada collaborator, giving her an otherworldly cast, as he’s known to do — a process captured in this time-lapse video documenting the mural’s creation. Moix’s imaginative works often delve into the magical and allude to epic tales, like a recent series at Paul Kasmin Gallery based on the adventures of Huckleberry Finn. “I like to think big,” he said. “When I lived down the block” — at Broadway and Spring Street, from 1993 to 2004 — “I always thought, ‘This wall would be a fantastic size.’”
“It was a perfect opportunity to treat the model as a geographic map,” Moix continued. Each section of her body represents an element of nature — ocean, deserts, tempests. “Towards the toes that was the worst moment,” he added. “Those legs never end!” The work may be monumental, but it is far from permanent: Prada and Paul Kasmin plan take it down at the end of the month.