As Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” And for artist Alex Gardega, a huge enthusiast of Wall Street’s Charging Bull sculpture, we guess that means launching a full-out war against Fearless Girl, the statue erected opposite the bull for International Women’s Day. In an act of protest, Gardega has created a small sculpture of a urinating dog to sit beside the popular feminist sculpture, which was meant to be a response to the Charging Bull sculpture. The Pissing Pug statue urinates directly on the girl’s left foot.
“This is corporate nonsense,” Gardega said of the Fearless Girl statue, referencing the fact that the piece was developed by an advertising agency on behalf of State Street Global Advisors, one of the world’s largest banks. “It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull. That bull had integrity.” Arturo Di Modica crafted Charging Bull after the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of American resilience; in order to detract from the girl’s message, which Gardega says dilutes the bull’s message, he purposely sculpted the dog to be ugly. “I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue,” he said, “exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull.”
Gardega clarified that he doesn’t have a relationship with Di Modica, who himself is pursuing legal action against Fearless Girl, claiming the sculpture “infringed on his own artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence.” While Gardega removed Pissing Pug mere hours after erecting it Monday (he didn’t have the proper permits to bolt it to the ground), Fearless Girl is set to stand up to Charging Bull until February 2018 — Mayor Bill de Blasio recently extended the sculpture’s contract for 11 months under pressure from women’s groups — so this art war may not be over yet.