Bull vs Girl Update

Update on the girl facing bull controversy. Since last I mentioned this piece apparently the artist Arturo Di Modica who created the bull is upset that the girl statue has been allowed to remain. According to unnamed sources in the New York Post, the artist if the Charging Bull has threatened to sue the company claiming copyright infringement and that the girl statue is just a PR piece.


Seems slightly a bit selfish in a way, especially since the bull was an illegal set up in New York to begin with and moved to current location to allow the bull to stay. The artist never gave the bull to the city and has retained all copyrights to it even to the point of not allowing any pictures of it to be used without permission or monetary gain. So in that regard could not one say he used the bull as PR for his art work? Thus that would negate his claim.

In another New York Post he says

“That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick,” the 76-year-old Sicilian immigrant said, clutching his heart.

So at what point is the girl not a symbol but an advertisement whereas the bull is a symbol and not an ad. Both are technically advertising the artist’s expertise. And yes the girl was created for International Woman’s day, but does that deny the artist value.

Arturo Di Modica also is quoted as saying:

“Women, girls, that’s great, but that’s not what that (my sculpture) is,” Di Modica said to MarketWatch. “I put it there for art,” he explained. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”

But then could not the same be said of the girl and the reasoning for why it was placed. Is it not art and represents a symbolic meaning. Is not the girl also a symbol of America?

From Daily Mail we see this comment:

Arturo Di Modica said the bronzed sculpture is a stunt, an advertising trick and that people ‘made a mistake’ believing that the defiant little girl was a symbol of female empowerment, he said on Monday.
In the New York Daily News the artist was even stronger in his quotes

“I did it for all the American people,” he fumed during a phone interview from his Church Street art studio. “Not designed for men, women or gay.”

“They took advantage,” he said. “It’s not right! They are insulting all the American people and me and my work.”

How is the girl who is said to represent women breaking into the male dominated financial world an insult? Or is the whole fact there is attention paid to another statue than the bull. It is well known that some artists are quite territorial and attention seeking, is this the case or just words that were said without thinking it through?

If the bull is only to represent America then why an almost identical bull in Netherlands where it is not representing America at all.


The artist of the Fearless Girl statue, Kristen Visbal, said in a recent Wall Street Journal article:

“Wall Street is a traditionally male environment and it says, “Hey, we’re here.””

And what of it being just a publicity stunt, the firm that commissioned the statue never pretended the statue did not represent what their firm was pushing. State Street Global through its deputy global chief investment officer, Lori Heinel acknowledges the company is in favor of business hiring more women.

“One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull. So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever but also creative and engaging way to make that statement.”


So in the end is this an artist versus artist problem? A male versus male problem? Art vs publicity stunt? Paid art versus free art? Egos? Or is it a difference of viewing? I tend to go with the last, though the artist ego in there is pretty evident.

Is the Fearless Girl piece devalued since it was used in an ad campaign? Have other art pieces come under that scrutiny and come out ahead or been discarded for advertising links. We can look to the Pledge of Allegiance which started out as a PR gimmick and now where it stands, did its origins now negate the vale. These are question we all must ask and how the answers affect each and every person.

Here we have a small girl, and according to the firm, again referring to Heinel speaking:

“One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull. So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever but also creative and engaging way to make that statement. Even though it’s a little girl, her stance is one of determination, forwardness, and being willing to challenge and take on the status quo.”

So this statue dilemma can be seen as a challenge to take the bull by the horns and venture onward.  It is all in how you want to see it and how that view plays into your ideology of how the world works.

Art does not have to be free nor does it have to cost millions, it just has to make you stop and think and that is what the girl has done. The statue has made girls look into themselves and ponder if they have what it takes to stand before a bull and challenge what life brings. Or to cower behind.

While there is no one answer or idea, the solution is to enjoy both in their element. Now while you ponder all this anger regarding resulting in that small little statue is next to the male furiously of the bull… how does art play in your story? Again is there any art in your story or is it bland, devoid of all art.

Massarella, Linda and Jeremy Olshan (March 20, 2017) “Wall Street bull artist knows BS when he sees it” New York Post. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Jenkins, Aric. (Mar 21, 2017). Charging Bull Creator Fumes That Fearless Girl Statue Is Just an ‘Advertising Trick’. Fortune. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Venezia, Todd (March 27, 2017). “Fearless Girl’ will stay on Wall Street until 2018” New York Post. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

O’Connor, Roisin (March 27, 2017). “Fearless Girl’ statue facing down Charging Bull of Wall Street in New York to stay until 2018.” Independent. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Roundtree, Cheyenne (March 20, 2017). Fuming Charging Bull artist says Fearless Girl statue placed in front of his iconic Wall Street sculpture is an ‘advertising trick’. DailyMail. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Blau, Reuven (March 20, 2017). Charging Bull artist says bronze girl statue is an ‘advertising trick’. New York Daily News. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Berrien, Hank (Mar 21, 2017). Artist Who Created Wall Street’s ‘Charging Bull’ Hates ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue. Daily Wire. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Olshan, Jeremy (Mar 20, 2017). Wall Street Bull artist calls BS on ‘Fearless Girl’ statue. Market Watch. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Krouse, Sarah (Mar 7, 2017). Creating the Girl Who Stared Down the Wall Street Bull. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Levy. Rachael (Mar. 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 March 27, 2017.

Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (March 27, 2017). ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will stay through early next year. CNN Money. Retrieved March 27, 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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