Wall Street's "Fearless Girl" statue became a symbol for female empowerment—and the center of national debates about feminism and corporatization—and now, one male "artist" has placed himself at the center of the conversation by desecrating the statue with his own crude addition.
The statue depicting a young ponytailed girl was created in March by ad agency McCann New York and investment firm State Street Global Advisors in honor of International Women's Day. Symbolically placed across from Wall Street's "Charging Bull" statue, the "Fearless GIrl" was an ad calling for more female leadership in business. The statue proved to be highly popular, inspiring a Change.org petition to make the work a permanent fixture and gathering more than 2,500 signatures in the first 48 hours. This March, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio extended the statue's original one-week permit into a year-long one, and announced that "Fearless Girl" will be on display until next February. But not everyone has been a fan.
Arturo Di Modica, the Italian-born sculptor of the Wall Street "Charging Bull," has previously accused New York City of violating his legal rights by installing "Fearless GIrl" without his permission, and is suing State Street Global Advisors for trademark and copyright infringement. And this week, the New York Post reported that "Upper West Side artist" Alex Gardega has entered himself into the conversation by placing a crudely rendered statue of a small dog peeing on the statue's leg, naming it "Pissing Pug."
Although no one really needed his opinion, Gardega told the Post that he thinks "Fearless Girl" is "corporate nonsense" that "has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespectful to the artist that made the bull." Even though he's never met the creators of "Fearless Girl" or "Charging Bull," Gardega said, "I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade to the bull."
According to NY1, Gardega's dog statue was removed early Tuesday morning.