The artist behind Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull” sculpture is crying foul over a “Fearless Girl” statue was erected in the bull’s path in honor of International Women’s Day.
Arturo Di Modica — who erected the 7,100-pound bull without permission in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1989, before it was eventually moved to its current location in Bowling Green Park — told MarketWatch in an interview Monday that “Fearless Girl” is a cheap marketing ploy that takes his piece out of context.
“That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick,” the 76-year-old said. “Women, girls, that’s great, but that’s not what that [my sculpture] is.”
The “Fearless Girl” bronze statue, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) to coincide with International Women’s Day, depicts a confident young girl staring down the bull with her hands on her hips. SSGA said the statue celebrates the power of women in leadership and “the potential of the next generation of women leaders.”
But Mr. Di Modica, a Sicilian immigrant, likened the stunt to a form of vandalism because it recast his bull as an oppressor.
“I put it there for art,” he told MarketWatch. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”
“Fearless Girl” has a temporary permit that expires April 2, and Mr. Di Modica said he hopes it stays that way. He said it was a “mistake” for people to champion the piece as a feminist symbol.
Lawmakers and activists have called on the city to keep the statue as a permanent installation. Mayor Bill de Blasio hasn’t commented on plans to extend the permit, MarketWatch reported.
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