A New York artist on Monday took aim at Wall Street's now infamous "Fearless Girl" statue, displayed across from the historical "Charging Bull," lending his own controversial addition to the scene that he calls "Pissing Pug."
Sculptor Alex Gardega sculpted the small dog, which has one leg hiked, and placed it next to the "Fearless Girl" statue, insinuating the dog is relieving itself on the left leg of the girl.
— Geoff Herbert (@deafgeoff) May 30, 2017
Gardega told the New York Post that the "Fearless Girl" statue was nothing but a publicity stunt designed by a financial firm based in Boston. He believes the firm, State Street Global Advisors, merely sought to capitalize off the feminist movement in anticipation of International Women's Day in March.
The display of the "Fearless Girl" statue was cheered by feminists who applauded the financial firm — which happens to be the world's third largest asset manager — for standing up to Wall Street.
"She stands as a reminder… that having more women in leadership positions can lead to increased performance and a stronger economy," a spokesman for the company said at the time.
But Gardega didn't buy into the marketing ploy.
"This is corporate nonsense," he said. "It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull,” he said. “That bull had integrity."
Gardega said he purposely constructed the sculpture poorly in an attempt to degrade the "Fearless Girl" statue just as she degrades the meaning of Wall Street's "Charging Bull."
"I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull," he explained.
The Post reported that many female passers-by complained that the statue was misogynistic, though Gardega insists he is not anti-feminism.
"I’m pro-feminism but this isn’t a statue made by an artist standing up to Wall Street, it’s by a corporation," he said. "If they can invade the bull’s sacred space, I can invade its sacred space."
That didn't stop spectators from walking past and kicking it, some even attempting to remove it. Only three short hours after displaying his creation Monday, Gardega was forced to take it down.
"I took it [down] to save its life," he told Moneyish.
The bull's sculptor, Arturo Di Modica, declined to comment on the new addition to the scene, but he is currently suing State Street Global Advisors for trademark and copyright infringement.
"Fearless Girl" was originally displayed in March under a temporary permit, but the permit has since been extended 11 more months by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after he received increasing pressure from feminist groups.