If you’ve ever been to Wall Street in New York, then you’re familiar with the famous “Charging Bull” statue. The sculpture acted as a symbol of “aggressive financial optimism and prosperity” and is a popular icon for Wall Street. The bronze bull has attracted thousands of tourists from around the globe and still pulls them today. Such an intimidating beast has no equal.
Imagine our surprise when another statue was installed standing directly in the path of the bull. Artist Kristen Visbal created the “Fearless Girl“ bronze sculpture, which depicted a young girl standing confidently in front of the bull of Wall Street. The plaque below the statue reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” Since its installation on March 7, 2017, thousands of people have taken photos and offered gifts to the bronze girl.
Unfortunately, not all these gifts were pleasant. New York artist Alex Gardega added his own statue to the mix: a small dog peeing on the girl’s foot. The sculpture is aptly titled the “Pissing Pug.”
Gardega called the “Fearless Girl” statue a publicity stunt. “This is corporate nonsense,” he told The New York Post. “It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull.”
He later added, “That bull had integrity.”
I’m sure it has as much integrity as your “Pissing Pug.” Gardega claims that he wanted his statue to insult Visbal’s “Fearless Girl”. In another statement to The New York Post, he said, “I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull.”
Arturo Di Modica, the artist behind the “Charging Bull,” has also shared his dislike for the statue. Modica is currently suing the asset management company that funded the project for trademark and copyright infringement. It sounds more like two grown men are intimidated by this little girl. They fail to realize the powerful message behind Visbal’s statue.
It wasn’t meant to downgrade the bull. State Street Global Advisors claimed that the “Fearless Girl” acted as a symbol of gender diversity in the workplace. Instead, it’s labeled and criticized as corporate feminism. Clearly the true message flew over everyone’s heads.
The “Fearless Girl” will remain on Wall Street until February 2018. Lucky for us, the “Pissing Pug” statue has already been sent to the dog house where it belongs.