“Art is not to be taught in Academies. It is what one looks at, not what one listens to, that makes the artist. The real schools should be the streets.” – Oscar Wilde
“Why shouldn’t things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.” — George Santayana
In the pre-twilight hours of April 22, 2011, the Surfing Madonna made an appearance, assisted by a pair of street artist disguised as contraction workers. The stealthy pair attached the stained glass mosaic to the Encinitas Train Trestle as a gift to the citizens of the City of Encinitas. Dubbed the Surfing Madonna, the mural depicts the Blessed Virgin Guadalupe surfing on a cobalt wave with the slogan, “Save the Ocean” to the left of the image. The citizenry immediate embraced the mural. The elected officials, not so much. Instead of appreciating the gift of the glass mural, the moribund Encinitas City Council, in yet another endless string of out-of-touch hubris declared the glass mural “graffiti” and made immediate plans to have the public art removed. This is the same out-to-lunch City Council who beseeches it’s citizens not to dress up the Cardiff Kook for the holidays – they don’t get it, and they flaunt their ignorance on a regular basis. Instead of removing the art, the citizens of Encinitas should remove the City Council. The City Council turned a deaf ear to the public outcry to save the mural, and after much negotiation, the Surfing Madonna was removed from the city property and was returned to the artist, Mark Patterson. The Surfing Madonna was removed without damage to the art, and at press time is awaiting relocation.
In honor of the Surfing Madonna, the artist and the attempts to protect the ocean, Carruth Cellars of Solana Beach is bottling its red North Coast Cuvee with the image of the Surfing Madonna on the label of each bottle. One dollar of every bottle sold will donated to save the oceans and aid in the preservation and relocation of the Surfing Madonna. The wine is a mélange of five red grapes, with a juicy, fruity flavors of berries and stone fruit. The perfect pairing is Pork Chile Tamales. The music match is “Surfer Girl” by Sophie B. Hawkins from the album Wilderness.
The details: 15.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: North Coast. Grapes: syrah, petite sirah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel. The retail price is $40 USD ($32 if you’re a Wine Thief – i.e. a member of the wine club) and can purchased directly from the Carruth Cellars tasting room in Solana Beach.