Society

Artist Degrades 'Fearless Girl' With Peeing Dog Statue (Photo)

| by Michael Howard

A sculptor in New York City is causing a stir after he placed a small statue of a urinating dog next to the "Fearless Girl" statue in the city's financial district.

Alex Gardega explained that his sculpture, called "Pissing Pug," is an appropriate response to "Fearless Girl," which he says disrespects "Charging Bull," another sculpture that has been a fixture on Wall Street since 1987.

"This is corporate nonsense," Gardega told the New York Post. "It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull. That bull had integrity."

He said he deliberately did a bad job on "Pissing Pug" in order to denigrate "Fearless Girl" as much as possible.

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"I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull," the artist explained.

Some women who live and work in the area took exception to Gardega's addition, calling it misogynistic.

"That’s an a***ole move. You call this art?" one woman said. She reportedly kicked the dog as she moved past it.

Others were supportive, especially once they heard Gardega's explanation.

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"I respect his opinion … and that’s really cool," said 24-year-old tourist Pam Guadarrama.

Gardega rejects the criticism that his statue -- which, according to NBC News, he took down after three hours -- is misogynistic. He said he is "pro-feminism" and has "nothing against the sculptor whatsoever."

"Fearless Girl" was placed opposite "Charging Bull" in March for International Women's Day. Its temporary permit was extended for 11 months by Mayor Bill de Blasio at the request of several women's groups.

Arturo Di Modica, the man who created "Charging Bull," has not remarked on "Pissing Pug," although he has spoken out against "Fearless Girl" in the past.

The 76-year-old sculptor is suing State Street Global Advisors, the mutual fund company that erected "Fearless Girl," for trademark and copyright infringement.

"The placement of the statue of the young girl in opposition to 'Charging Bull' has undermined the integrity and modified the 'Charging Bull,'" Di Modica's lawyer, Norman Siegel, said in April. "The 'Charging Bull' no longer carries a positive, optimistic message. Rather it has been transformed into a negative force and a threat."

Siegel added that "Fearless Girl" used to include a plaque advertising one of the company's funds, which violates commercial use laws.

Like Gardega, Di Modica clarified that his opposition to the statue is not motivated by sexism.

"I am not against women," he said at the time. "I am against this advertising trick."

Di Modica installed "Charging Bull" in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a response to the 1987 stock market crash, according to the New York Post. It was meant to symbolize strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

Sources: New York Post (23), NBC News / Photo credit: Anthony Quintano/Flickr, Alex Gardega via NBC News

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