Sculpture and the Power It Has on People

My story does contain reference to a sculpture that becomes the focal point of the factions that are in line with the royals to claim their society back.  That sculpture represent a martyrdom by a couple not only who died for the throne but also their eternal devotion to each other that was finally seen after their death.  Thus the statue becomes the reminder of the halcyon years of the royal dynasty.

In reality we all have seen the power of sculpture, from the majestic stone statues of Ramses II that embodies the stable, fixed dominance of the Egyptian ideology to a simple none descript 3-D smiley face that signifies happiness and positive outlooks.

Today I read some interesting comments regarding the little girl statue placed in front of the bull at Times Square.  The one set of comments, though rant may be a better term, caught my eye.  The poster made several claims about the statue and how the presence of the little girl insulted the artist of the bull.  Not knowing much about the bull statue, I decided to see how much of the posters claims were true.

So off I went on an internet hunt…  here are the basics:


Title: Charging Bull
AKA: Wall Street Bull, Bowling Green Bull
Artist: Arturo Di Modica
Date: 1989
Material: bronze
Foundry: Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Cost: $360,000
Dimension: Height 11 feet (3.4 m) and length 16 feet (4.9 m)
Weight: 7,100-pound (3,200 kg)
Location: Bowling Green Park in the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City. Notes: non-commissioned – guerrilla art whose popularity led to it being a permanent feature
Ownership: Di Modica. That statue is on a temporary loan to New York City with an ongoing permit in place since 1989
Series: one of 5 to be made. In 2010 Bund Bull was installed in Shanghai. 2012 one was placed on Het Beursplein in Amsterdam
Symbolism: “strength and power of the American people”
In 2004 Di Modica declared the statue for sale, however in 2006 Di Modica then stated that “the authorities, and New York public, view it as a permanent feature of Lower Manhattan.

So the fact show us the reasoning for the bull and all those fun little details. Now back to the comment that drew my attention into this little endeavor.  The poster made makes a dramatic claim that the little girl statue is contrary to the bull and represented anti-capitalism and thus the degrading of America. He further goes on to state that it is an insult to the artist by changing the meaning of the bull and the intent of those who had it who commissioned.

Despite the attempt by the poster to be all knowing on the subject of the bull, he makes some critical errors.  In the end the whole point of his numerous posts comes clear as his discussion turn spiteful and very political.   However for this discussion, the point is not to address the true meaning of his posts, but to see if there is any validity to the claims.   Back to the claims he made in the beginning, are any of them true?

Right off the bat one can see from a simple search that one part of the posters claim is false: there was no commission of the bull.  Guerilla art means basically art that is set up in public without permission, though generally mostly used to describe graffiti art.

So how does the Fearless Girl statue affect the Charging Bull?  I think first we need to look at the facts about that statue:



Title: Fearless Girl
Artist: Kristen Visbal
Date: 2017
Material: bronze
Foundry: ?
Cost: ?
Dimension: 50 inches (1,300 mm)
Weight: ?
Location: Bowling Green Park in the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City. Notes: “…snip…part of an ad campaign from investment management company State Street Global Investors and the advertising firm McCann. SSGA wants to use the new public art to call attention to gender diversity and is advocating for the companies it works with—there are some 3,500—to increase the number of women on their corporate boards.”
Inscription on plaque: ‘‘Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.’’
Ownership: State Street Global Advisors
Symbolism: “send a message” about workplace gender diversity and encourage companies to recruit women to their boards

Not too much out there on this statue, yet I do sense an underbelly grumbling in regards to the statue being female.  Curious how the reaction would be seen if the statue was a male figure. Would people still see it as anti-capitalism or as a boy staring down the bull?

This then makes me think how my statue in the book could be perceived by those who are not in line with the royal family.  Of course those who see it as a martyrdom will be positive and the words would direct that actions.   How could that dialogue change if the statue was seen through the eyes of the enemy to the royals… now that would be fun to include.

Back to the poster and the claim that the girl is a symbol of anti-capitalism and an insult to America.  Well does that really ring true?  From what I read the little girl is staring down the force of male dominated corporate power in encourage the hiring of females.  This is a great case to show the two sides very clearly.  If you support women in make dominated fields then you would see this as a positive strike, not against America or the economy but against the gender that dominates that economy.

If on the other hand you do not like the idea of women in that area or feel women are supplanting males, then you might see the statue in a negative term, thus possibly the view of the bull being a challenge and thus America being challenge in a negative context.

If we follow along this path, the poster made claims that the bull is being insulted by being viewed differently than the artist intended.  Okay we can go with that, then also the superstition that has arisen regarding the touching of the bulls testicles for good luck then also be seen as an insult.

Let’s face it, the bull was chosen not only because of the Stock Market expression for an upward mobile stock increase, but also because the bull is a masculine symbol.  It is a power of virility, thus the statue is a bull and not a steer. So already we have a male dominant piece.  And if we look to the context of 198, more males by far represented in Wall Street as well as many corporations.

Art has a way of moving and changing, the intent of the artist is one thing, but as with all things, time moves on and the art that may have had a meaning then, has changed today with things being different. We are seeing more women enter into the male fields, so that bull that once represented the male masculine and virility of a thriving economy is seen with different eyes. Thus if we look at the statue in that direction then the female statue makes more sense and does not represent a statement against America but a stamen against the male dominated economic section.

As I look back to the statue in my book, I wonder after 25 years has the meaning of that statue changed.  Right now the working title of the statue is ‘Martyrdom of the Lovers’, and does represent their death in each other’s arms.  But time does move forth, and the context of the statue will alter.   I could go forward in time creating a cult around the statue, leave them in limbo, or have them diminish in importance so no one remembers the sacrifice.

I guess you will have to read the book series to find out……


Sources to read:

Charging Bull

Webcam of the Charging Bull

Schwedel, Heather (March 7, 2017). “A Bronze Little Girl Has Arrived to Face Down the Wall Street Bull. This Should Go Well.”. Slate. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Szekely,Peter A. (March 8, 2017).   “On Women’s Day eve, statue of girl stares down Wall Street bull.”. Retrieved on March 11, 2017   Reuters.

Sommerfeldt, Chris (March 7, 2017).  “Charging Bull has new company in a bronze statue of a young girl — a symbol for women’s place on Wall Street.”.  New York Daily News. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Dobnik, Verena(March 10, 2017).  “Behind ‘Fearless Girl’ statue are 2 corporate giants.”. North Jersey. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Levine, Sam (March 7, 2017). “ There’s Now A Statue Of A Young Girl Facing Wall Street’s Famous Charging Bull.” Huffington Post. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Zucchi, Kristina ( March 8, 2017). “Charging Bull-The Brass Icon of Wall Street.” Investopedia. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (March 7, 2017). “Why a defiant girl is staring down the Wall Street bull”. CNNMoney. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Fierberg, Emma; Levy, Rachael (March 7, 2017). “A $2.5 trillion asset manager just put a statue of a defiant girl in front of the Wall Street bull”. Business Insider. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

“Statue of young girl stares down Wall Street bull for women’s day.”. Guardian.  Retrieved on March 11, 2017

“‘Fearless Girl’: New statue stares down Wall Street’s bull”. The Mercury News. Associated Press. March 8, 2017. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Bisaria, Anjali (10 March 2017). “People Have Now Launched A Campaign To Make The ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Permanent At Wall Street”. IndiaTimes. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

McCarthy, Ciara (March 10, 2017). “NYC Petition Calls For ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue To Be Permanent.” Patch. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Antilla, Susan (March 11, 2017). “Fearless Girl: Get ready to rumble.” CNN. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Khadem, Nassim (March 11, 2017). “Beyond symbolism, a practical call to action: investors to vote against company boards without enough women.” Sydney Morning Herald.  Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Leung, Shirley (March 09, 2017). “There’s no bull in the message behind ‘Fearless Girl’ statue.”. Boston Globe. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Steinhauer, Jillian (March 09, 2017). “The Sculpture of a “Fearless Girl” on Wall Street Is Fake Corporate Feminism.”. Hyperallergic. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Chan, Melissa (Mar 10, 2017). “Thousands Want Wall Street’s Fearless Girl Statue to Become Permanent.” Fortune. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

Nolan, Caitlin (March 10, 2017). “Woman Speaks Out After Man Appears to Defile ‘Defiant Girl’ Statue: ‘Why Feminism Exists’.”. Inside Edition. Retrieved on March 11, 2017

City Hall has extended the statue’s permit from one week to 30 days.”. Independent Retrieved on March 11, 2017


About jasterling

One part of my life is in the science of anthropology and archaeology where I did comparative work. My other life that I am now pursuing is writing along the lines of fantasy/sci fi fictional writing as my one way to stay sane in this other insane world. Please enjoy the selections you will find in my blog.
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