The artist who created the ‘Charging Bull” statue that has become a landmark in New York City’s financial district is speaking out and pushing back against a statue placed in juxtaposition to his bull called, “Fearless Girl.”
Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica says that the addition of the “Fearless Girl” statue next to his display has “fundamentally corrupted the artistic integrity” and the meaning of his “Charging Bull.”
And he’s right.
Di Modica secretly and in the dark installed the 7,000-pound bronze statue that is now a quintessential part of New York City after the stock market crash of 1987. He saw it as a symbol of American resilience. Of something strong and determined, not anything menacing or to be feared.
The “Fearless Girl” statue was installed as a publicity campaign surrounding International Women’s Day in March and the display was only to be up for a short time, but after fans protested Mayor Bill De Blasio extended the display’s permit until 2018.
The statue says, “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” The “SHE” is in direct reference to State Street’s Gender Diversity Index, which does exactly what one would assume: Tracks gender-diverse companies.
According to The Washington Post,
This overt reference to State Street’s SHE Index could contribute to Di Modica insistence that “Fearless Girl” is nothing more than marketing trickery orchestrated by the firm’s New York advertising partner, McCann.
“That is not a symbol!” the 76-year-old Sicilian immigrant told the New York Post and Market Watch in March.
He said in an interview from his art studio that his protest was not meant to snub the importance of gender equality, but to defend the integrity of his bull.
“I put it there for art,” he told the publications. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”
Contrasted with the soft, altruistic characteristics of the bronze girl, though, “Charging Bull” now appears menacing and aggressive.
Di Modica isn’t wrong. The addition of the girl changes the impression and the meaning of the bull. Rather than the bull being a symbol of prosperity and resilience, contrasted with the girl it becomes a symbol of a terrifying force bent on harm and destruction.
Di Modica is standing up for the integrity of hs art and his bull. He, along with the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Norman Siegal, plan to challenge the placement of the “Fearless Girl” statue without asking for his permission. On a positive note, Di Modica and Siegal have said they don’t plan on filing any lawsuits.
There’s no reason the “Fearless Girl” statue cannot be moved to another area to be admired. If the new statue’s value and meaning are so powerful, her should be able to hold her own without encroaching on another piece of art.