In the early morning hours of Friday, December 15, 1989, Italian artist Arturo Di Modica with his friends dropped a half ton bronze sculpture of the Charging Bull on Broad Street right in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The sculpture was removed at the end of the day and found a permanent home close by at Bowling Green. The bull is a symbol of a strong stock market in which participants are optimistic and confident.
A year ago, 28 years after the bull statue was installed, between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8 2017 a bull got a neighbor - a 50-inch defiant little girl, cast in bronze. The statue was installed by State Street Global Advisors, investment management division of State Street Corporation.
"We got a permit with the city," says Anne McNally, vice president of public relations for State Street, who said the idea for the statue was cooked up jointly by the firm's investment and marketing teams. The permit is for a week, but given the girl's popularity, permit was extended to 30 days.
“What this girl represents is the present, but also the future,” said Mr. Tisdalle, chief marketing officer at State Street, said in an interview,- “She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note".
The statue , titled “The Fearless Girl", was sculpted by Kristen Visbal, American sculptor living and working in Lewes, Delaware.
The stunt, timed to International Women’s Day on Wednesday, is meant to symbolize the power of women in leadership. More specifically, it’s part of a campaign by State Street Global Advisors to emphasize that companies with women in top positions perform better financially.
Sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who created Charging Bull, has argued that the Fearless Girl statue corrupts the original meaning of his creation.
An attorney for Di Modica, Norman Siegel, said last April:
“The placement of the statue of the young girl in opposition to ‘Charging Bull’ has undermined the integrity and modified the ‘Charging Bull. The ‘Charging Bull’ no longer carries a positive, optimistic message. Rather it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat.”
I completely agree with Siegel : Fearless Girl has transformed the meaning of the bull in a way the artist never intended.
But Mayor de Blasio didn’t care about that. In fact, he pointedly dumped all over Di Modica’s complaints, suggesting they were sexist: last April he tweeted: Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless
And by the way in October 2017 State Street Corp. ( the sponsor of he Fearless Girl statue) had agreed in to a $5 million settlement over allegations that it underpaid hundreds of female and minority employees.
Originally given a one-month permit, Mayor de Blasio decided to let statue stay in place until March 8, 2018. Time is running out for "Fearless Girl."
Fans started calling for the statue to stay in place forever. More than 38,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to make the statue of the defiant girl, staring up at the towering bull with her hands on her hips, a permanent fixture.
A spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio said that the city is still “discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be part of the city’s civic life. The message of the Fearless Girl has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
There are rumors if the girl goes away form Broadway, she'll be taking the iconic Wall Street bull statue she co-opted with her.
Almost thirty years ago Arthur Piccolo, the current president of the Bowling Green Association, convinced Di Modica, the owner ant the author of the charging Bull, that the nation’s first public park would be a perfect home for the now iconic statue.
Piccolo condemned any effort to move Charging Bull away from Bowling Green, while calling for Fearless Girl’s removal from the public park, describing the feminist icon as little more than a commercial for an out-of-state investment firm. “It’s a marketing tool!” he said.
“The mayor of the city has no right to move the bull,” said the Bowling Green advocate. “I would strongly advise him not to put up with that girl being permanently in front of it — it destroys the purpose of the bull to serve a private company.”