Bull versus the girl: iconic NY statues at loggerheads

by Frankie Norman April 13, 2017, 0:58
Bull versus the girl: iconic NY statues at loggerheads

The sculptor of the infamous "Charging Bull" statue has accused the City of NY of violating his right as an artist by allowing the "Fearless Girl" statue to be installed in front of his work without seeking prior authorization, AP reports.

Attorney Norman Siegel holds an image showing the sculptures Charging Bull and "Fearless Girl" facing one another at his law offices in New York Wed., April 12, 2017.

Di Modica, for the record, installed his bull statue (with testicles the size of soccer balls that finance types now believe are good luck charms), under cover of night in 1989-without a permit.

In March, Di Modica called "Fearless Girl" an advertising trick and appealed to officials to remove the statue.

This bold presence received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public, which caused Mayor Bill de Blasio to extend Fearless Girl's city permit for almost one year. The sculptor's lawyers today say they want the girl moved, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities initially removed the unauthorized work but later reinstalled it following public clamor for it to remain in the financial district.

As "Fearless Girl" was heralded by many as a symbol for female empowerment, Di Modica doled out sharp criticism, casting the statue as not art, but a publicity stunt by the gender-oriented company that commissioned it.

The 127-centimetre statue of a ponytailed girl with a wind-blown dress staring down the symbol of American corporate power was erected on March 8 to mark International Women's Day.

As part of the Be Bold For Change theme, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) installed the bronze statue as part of an ongoing campaign to increase the number of women in leadership roles.

Siegel said he filed several FOIL requests to discover if the Mayor's Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management and Street Activity Permit Office had any dealings or communication with State Street before the statute went up.

"I am not against women", the artist said. "Fearless Girl" makes a far more visceral point about the inexorable sway of capitalism than feminism, but then again, what exactly is the difference anymore?

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