The Encinitas Horse Sculpture by Alexandre “Sasha” Safonov

This post was written by Valerie on September 8, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes


The Phoenix sculpted from a burnt tree Cedar Fires


Many people drive along Encinitas Blvd. heading East from I-5 and see off to the left on the corner of the former Sunshine Gardens site a large horse carved on the site in the back by Sasha Safonov. The following is some info from Sasha’s site:

“Alexandre “Sasha” Safonov discovered the Phoenix within a huge, charred pine log while visiting a forest devastated by the 2003 Cedar Fires. The 17 ft long 9000 lb log was to be destroyed due to extensive fire damage but Sasha saw a different future for it.    The history of the tree and the  story of The Phoenix  are as magical as the sculpture itself. The piece truly captures the spirit of any person’s ability to rebuild.”

I just thought it was a bronze horse which is still amazing. Standing on  his hind quarters and clawing at the sky has more meaning to me now that I know the story of taking a charred log and turning it into a voice of survival for all the people that lost homes during San Diego’s 2003 Cedar Fires.

We have inlaws that lost their home in that fire. The horse sculpture is for sale at a approx. $240K.  Sasha has a studio on the property and is a master sculpture.

Looking at that horse gives me hope for all of us who are struggling in this economy with high joblessness, a Social Security system that prevents elderly from making extra money without penalty in order to survive but somehow we make it.

I watched “Mary Poppins” last night cuddled with my five grand children. I had forgotten so much of that film. The mother off constantly fighting for the right for women to vote and a work occupied banker father who both ignore their children until Mary Poppins comes along.

Watching that movie now had so much meaning. My grand daughter asked me what that meant, “fighting for women to vote”? I explained how in the beginning women were not allowed to vote for even the President of the United States. As an 8 year old she never knew that and thought it was awful. It also further in the movie shows how many people were struggling to make ends meet like the character “Bert” (a young Dick Van Dyke) who was street performer, chimney sweep, sidewalk artist and then kite maker.

Mary Poppins showed a globe to the children and they learned about an elderly woman who for the meager money she had she used it to buy bread to feed the pidgeon’s on the banks steps. How greedy the banker’s were and when the father took his children to his bank (at the persuading of Mary Poppins) the children wanted to give their money to the old lady and not to the head of the bank that grabbed the money from their hands. Patrons inside the bank only heard the bank was not giving someone their money and caused a run on the bank.

Again my grand daughter piped up and what did a “run” on the bank meant. It was all so relevant to events now. It also showed that people got through those hard times and somehow made it work. What does this have to do with the sculpture?

From something tragic came something so beautiful. In Mary Poppin’s the father was fired only to be hired back when laughter for the first time caused  the head of the bank to literally “die laughing”. The father and mother were more attentive to their children and off flew “Mary Poppins” out of their lives leaving them better off than when they started.

Like a burnt out old log from a tragic series of fires that hit most of San Diego and Orange County came a symbol of the “Phoenix” a horse of hope.


For more information on “Phoenix” I am providing you the following information:

Contact Alexandre Safonov directly 1 760 846 2276

Sasha’s Art is represented by Frontier International, LLC Las Vegas-Pete Allman- tel:702-265-9099 Los Angeles-Alex Ayzin-                tel:310-210-7800

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