The artist behind Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull sculpture is threatening to sue over the “sick” installation of the Fearless Girl directly opposite.
Italian-born Arturo Di Modica claims the 50-inch bronze, installed opposite his as a symbol of female empowerment, infringes on his artistic copyright by recasting the bull as a villainous oppressor without his permission.
Investment company State Street Global Advisors commissioned Delaware artist Kristen Visbal to create it for International Women’s Day in March. It was intended to promote the firm’s campaign for greater gender diversity on corporate boards and received so much support from women’s groups that its temporary permit was extended until April 2018.
The message of the Fearless Girl speaks loud and clear. Twenty-five percent of the biggest 3,000 US companies have no female directors. Zero. Empowering the next generation of women is vital if this demoralising statistic is going to change.
Just a glance at some of these heartwarming photos shows why the sculpture must stay:
Di Modica wants the sculpture removed immediately after State Street showed the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl together on marketing materials and erected a plaque near the sculpture advertising one of its funds.
“I’m not a ‘poor Arturo’, I’m an artist!” he said at a press conference on Wednesday, surrounded by lawyers. “I’m not against women, I am against this advertising trick. It’s really bad. She’s there attacking the bull.”
Di Modica was referring to a Washington Post story in which Visbal defended the Fearless Girl but admitted feeling sorry for her rival artist. “The bull is beautiful, it’s a stunning piece of art,” she said. “But the world changes and we are now running with this bull.”
Di Modica has said he will not sue if the Fearless Girl is moved elsewhere but New York mayor Bill De Blasio insists that the sculpture will be staying put.
Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl. https://t.co/D2OZl4ituJ
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 12, 2017
Ironically, the 3,200kg Charging Bull was erected without a permit in 1989 as a symbol of virility in the wake of the stock market crash.
Di Modica, now 76 and frail, spent $350,000 of his own money casting the guerrilla sculpture, which is considered the city’s most popular after the Statue of Liberty. Tourists hoping for good luck are often seen rubbing its huge testes.
— Christopher Hastings (@drhastings) April 12, 2017
“Everybody loves the bull,” Di Modica said with a sigh.“The girl is like -‘I am here, what are you gonna do?’”
That’s right, and just like us, she’s not going anywhere.