Update: A “Surfing Madonna” Mural in Encinitas, CA Draws Mass Following

UPDATE – the artist has stepped forward to help remove the mosaic without damaging it.

Here it is:

The backstory:

The surfing Madonna appeared just before Easter weekend and has been stirring a soulful debate in this Southern California beach town ever since.

The striking mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe riding a wave was affixed to a wall under a train bridge by artists disguised as construction workers in April. It technically is graffiti that should be removed under the law.

But the surfing Madonna’s beauty is drawing a mass following, and even city officials who say she must go acknowledge they too have been taken by her. They have spent thousands to hire an art conservation agency to find the best way to remove her without causing damage.

The 10-by-10-foot rock and glass mosaic poses an interesting dilemma over whether a city should spend lots of money to get rid of artwork that is illegal but well done and actually beautifies a place.

… Support for the wave-riding Virgin has only flourished amid the controversy. She is now on Twitter and Facebook, pleading for help: “I’m the Surfing Madonna. Cherished public mosaic. Hangin’ in Encinitas. Hoping to become famous enough to be saved.” [Art Daily]

An interesting aside: I am told one of Pope Benedict’s favorite titles for Mary is “Star of the Sea.”

Ph/t: The Courtier

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11 thoughts on “Update: A “Surfing Madonna” Mural in Encinitas, CA Draws Mass Following

  1. enness says:

    Wow…it really is something, isn’t it?

    I think we need to consider what vandalism is and why it is prohibited. It has at its core the motive to destroy and deface and make a place uglier — not to beautify, improve, and make a place more attractive as this arguably does (they seem to be trying pretty hard to preserve it, too). Zero tolerance, as many people have noted in different situations, can result in zero common sense.

    1. Daniel Powell says:

      Apply common sense to a situation. WOW! THAT would be common sense……………and very UNcommon. Here’s hoping. LOVE LIVE The Surfing Madona.

  2. convert45 says:

    God made the world and everything in it, and his design repeats. The ocean has served in a major way as the womb from whence life came. Mary was mother to the redeemer because of her yes to God, making her womb THE womb from whence all spiritual life came. It fits that Mary defending the Oceans is on another level Mary defending the unborn. So naturally it is Guadalupe, the quintessential image of Mary as defender of the unborn, defending the ocean. Life is precious on all levels and maybe it’s time the so-called conservatives reclaim our birth-right as the original environmentalists, courtesy of St. Francis. The left and right distinctions seem to be dissolving, courtesy of Our Mother Immaculate. Praise God for that!

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