Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bronze girl statue faces off with Wall Street Bull on International Women’s Day

Global investment manager State Street Global Advisors has placed a bronze statue of a fearless young girl in front of the famous charging bull statue in New York’s financial district, part of a campaign to improve female representation on corporate boards.

  • Di Modica said Fearless Girl is “an advertising trick” by State Street Global Advisors and the McCann advertising firm. He also said the statute infringes on his artistic copyright because it changes the creative dynamic of Charging Bull.

McCann New York advertising agency erected the statue for its client State Street Global Advisors in order to highlight the finance industry’s gender inclusivity, lack of equal pay for women and issues with diversity.

 “Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards, and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action,” State Street Global Advisors CEO Ron O’Hanley said in a statement.

Kristen Visbal sculpted the statue and placed it in New York City’s Bowling Green park near the State Street Global Advisors financial firm. The statue’s popularity led many to call for its permanent placement near the New York Stock Exchange. New York City officials said the statue will not be moved until 2018.

Di Modica said he spent $350,000 and two years creating Charging Bull, which he placed on Wall Street without permission after the 1987 stock market crash to symbolize the United States’ resilience. He also said Fearless Girl has only brought negative attention to Charging Bull. “I put it there for art,” Di Modica previously said. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”

The bull depicts the artist's optimism about NYC's (and America's) future.

The artist conceived “Charging Bull” during the city’s most bearish hour — just days after the stock-market crash of 1987. A Sicilian immigrant who had found success in New York — enough to buy a Manhattan studio and a Ferrari — remained hopeful for his adopted home at a time many were selling the city short, convinced its best days were behind it. Though the market had recovered much of its losses by 1989, the city was still a crime-ridden shadow of its former and future self.

Though Grasso could not be reached to corroborate the story, the chairman, according to Di Modica, offered to bring the bull back to the exchange on one condition. “He wanted me to make a bear, too,” the artist said. “I told him I was not going to do that — the bear means the market goes down, but I wanted to represent the city getting bigger, stronger, faster.”

Fearless Girl vs. Sketchy Dog

  • "Sketchy Dog" -- a new statue next to the "Fearless Girl" which is across from the "Charging Bull"  (30 May 2017)
  • Artist:  New York City sculptor, Alex Gardega
  • The creator of the bull sculptor, Arturo Di Modica, has claimed the city violated his legal rights by permitting the statue’s placement at all. He’s suing State Street Global Advisors, the investment management firm that placed Fearless Girl near his work, for trademark and copyright infringement.

Sculptor Alex Gardega told The New York Post that the proud, gangly young woman “is corporate nonsense.”  “It has nothing to do with feminism,” the artist went on. “And it is a disrespect to the artist that made the bull.   That bull had integrity.”   “I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull,” Gardega told the outlet.

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