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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Virgin Mary...Surfing?

I don't love graffiti, but I do love the Surfing Madonna mosaic that has recently popped up in California.
(Actually, it's been there since Good Friday, but I just found out about it.)

At first the mosaic seemed to spring up out of nowhere, and it was quite a mystery.  But it was the kind that California residents loved.  Apparently, the artist was so clever that he disguised himself as a construction worker doing maintenance.  Check out the news story this video:

The artist has more recently come forward.  His name is Mark Patterson, and he's not even Catholic.  Instead, he says he felt inspired to bring attention to the cause of saving the ocean. You can see it clearly says "Save the Ocean" on the side of the mosaic.

See an interview with the artist at this link: 

Despite the wonderful art this man crafted, the problem is that the city is calling it graffiti because he didn't get permission to do it first.  To me, that really was pretty stupid...or was it?

Had the piece gone in a museum, would anyone have talked about it? 

This man clearly wants to bring attention to his cause, but it's being overshadowed by the religious symbolism in the photo.  I've already read some comments from Catholics who say it's inappropriate, but I happen to like it.

The image of the virgin is clearly based off "The Virgin of Quadalupe."

 As the story goes, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531 and told him to build a church.   The local bishop didn't believe the story, so Diego asked Mary for proof that he saw her.  She told him to place some roses in his cloak.  When the roses were removed, the above image on his cloak.

Now I actually prefer this image, which shows Juan Diego as well.

Now that I know about Morminism, I can't help but see the resemblance to Joseph Smith and the First Vision, which seems to be the most popular image among Latter-Day Saints.

Anyway, I hope the surfing Madonna stays, and I'll be interested to see what happens next.

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