Photo taken by my lovely mother, Dee Schofield, who encouraged me to write this post.
All over the media and in people’s conversations around the Leucadia/Encinitas area these days is the Surfing Virgin, which mysteriously appeared under a freeway overpass Easter weekend.
This beautiful mosaic was installed supposedly by a group of people dressed like construction workers mid-day illegally or as defacing public property. It is considered street art, tagging, or graffiti by the law. Today the alleged artist (who carved his name in the tile) came out in the news. Although I don’t like Fox news, they covered his story about how the Madonna spoke to him about saving the ocean. He apparently used to work for Microsoft, quit his job and went to mosaic art school in Italy where he started work on the Madonna.
With its religious connotation, it also bringing up a lot of questions if it can stay. It’s been controversial with the law since it wasn’t permitted, but the community loves it. The community has been battling the law the last couple days to make it stay. The other day city officials tried to assess how well the mosaic was built into the wall. It withstood a shooting of some sort and is really locked in there. Apparently a semi-truck stopped in the middle of the road the other day to yell at officials trying to take it down. Older women were trying to take pictures of the mosaic while police were there and weren’t permitted to. When they asked why it had to be taken down, the officials couldn’t answer.
No one understands what the harm in the art is since it adds beauty to the community. Facebook groups also are in place to Save the Virgin. The kooky Leucadian community loves the artful flavor it brings to the concrete freeway underpass. It also speaks to preserving the beach town’s beloved ocean, which mostly everyone here is into saving. Apparently a statement will be made about if it will stay or not in the next couple of days.
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