On March 7th, 2017, a 50″ tall bronze statue of a youthful young girl was installed in Manhattan’s financial district. The work, created by Kristen Visbal, an American sculptor, sits directly in the pathway of the famous Charging Bull, an eleven foot tall, seven thousand pound sculpture by Arturo Di Modica. That Charging Bull, over time, has become symbolic of American exceptionalism and is known worldwide, often being used symbolically by the media on positive news from the Stock Market; a “Bull” market, is a rising market which encourages investing.
It was originally cast following the 1987 stock market crash, not as a commissioned work, but as a Christmas gift to the people of New York by the creator, even though it cost him nearly $400,000 to produce. The city of New York wasn’t pleased with him dropping it off under the Christmas tree however. After some legal wrangling it was moved to the plaza at Bowling Green, where it remains today.
The addition of the Fearless Girl statue has stirred controversy with Arturo Di Modica, as it seems to challenge his work. He’s been very vocal about his thoughts and how the addition distorts his work and infringes on his artistic vision. The group supporting the Fearless Girl piece stands firm in the message of diversity that the statue supposedly presents. Either way, it looks to be a long battle between the two artists and the city of New York.
Fearless Girl Versus the Charging Bull
Hands on hips
Staring down the charging bull
Bronze facing bronze
But not segregated
Wall Street in the midst
The tiny girl
Her message enormous
But the charging bull remains
Rising stakes and rising tempers
Over message distortion
The old boys clubs
Past rights versus present ones
In the glass ceiling
Or a violation