Graffiti or art, an anonymously created 10x10 foot mosaic tile of Our Lady of Guadalupe surfing installed under a railroad trestle on a busy Encinitas, Calif. intersection, has caused consternation and disagreement with city officials vowing to remove it soon.
Is it art? Is it religion? Regardless, many wonder what the devil is the Surfing Madonna mosaic doing under a train trestle along busy highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue in Encinitas, Calif. MSNBC recently broadcast a story on the Surfing Madonna.
One thing is certain folks: this stained-glass mosaic tile is causing every type of reaction from consternation about how the graffiti appeared, to acclimation of it, as great art along the busy road in one of America's leading, laid-back surfing communities, about 20 miles north of San Diego. The photo below by local artist Heather Badillo shows a typical viewing day.
The deal is removing this artwork or sight pollution depending on your view will be hard. The anonymous artist or artists painstakingly superglued the piece to the trestle, and it will be a pain to take down, according to experts.
But Encinitas leaders are nothing if not determined to take down the wave they consider unwanted graffiti, as illustrated by this video.
The price tag for this piece of something starts at $2,000. That is how much the Encinitas City Council unanimously allocated Wednesday, May 18 to study how best to remove the Surfing Madonna.
The uninvited public art donation to this city of 70,000 people has attracted a steady stream of onlookers, further confounding the situation, since it is in the middle of a heavily traveled intersection. Onlookers mainly applaud the art, but a but further away reaction is even with about half opposing and half approving.
"It doesn't need to come down," said Laura Bottarini on MSNBC TV. "It's a sad day when the city has looked at taking it down instead of preserving it because we all know there's a way they can."
But others object to the Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging five in a trestle mosaic surfboard, calling it graffiti. "It's coming down," said Encinitas Mayor James Bond, his real name by the way.
Ah, but when does it come down and at what cost, there's the rub, my friends. No timetable yet, so enjoy it if you like and diss it if you don't for a while longer.