Sculptor of Wall Street's bull wants 'Fearless Girl' moved

The creator of the iconic Wall Street bull statue, Italian born sculptor Arturo Di Modica, held a press conference with his lawyers on Wednesday explaining why he is calling for the statute, which he brands an "advertising trick", to be moved to another location.

Artist Arturo Di Modica, who installed his bull sculpture under the cover of night after the 1987 stock-market crash, called on Wednesday for New York City authorities to remove the girl statue, saying it violates his rights as an artist. The girl, according to her commissioners State Street Global Advisors, embodies a message of "the power of women in leadership" and the need for "greater gender diversity on corporate boards".

Artist Kristen Visbal's statue of a girl with her hands on her hips was placed on the traffic island on March 7.

State Street told NBC news in a statement that it continued to be grateful to the city of NY for their response and acceptance of the "Fearless Girl" statue.

Di Modica's lawyers made sure to mention that the complaint was not about sexism. The statue has since become one of New York's most visited attractions. It refers to an exchange-traded fund dubbed "SHE", which invests in companies with women in top executive posts.

But for a month it has been overshadowed, at least in part by the bronze Fearless Girl crafted by United States artist Kristen Visbal and installed in March, hands on hips and chin jutting out, directly challenging the bull.

The 3200 kg bull itself originally appeared as guerrilla art, installed unofficially in front of the New York Stock Exchange by Di Modica in 1989 and meant to convey the fighting spirit of the United States and of New York.

Kate Harding, assistant director of Cornell University Women's Resource Center, said the bull's "hypermasculine, aggressive image" belongs to a different era of NY.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on March 27 that the sculpture would remain on Department of Transportation property as part of a municipal art program until February 2018. The attorneys also filed Freedom of Information Act requests with several NY agencies, to seek paperwork and records related to the authorization, location and installment for "Fearless Girl".

It was originally created to be a temporary addition to Wall Street but last month New York Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed it would remain a fixture until after International Women's Day 2018.

Twenty-five percent of the largest 3,000 USA companies have no female directors, State Street noted at the time. "None of us here today are not in any way opponents of gender rights", he said. In 2009 he sued publisher Random House for using a photo of the Charging Bull on a book about the collapse of Lehman Brothers. His attorneys say they hope to resolve the issue without going to court, saying they want the sculpture moved.

Di Modica filed a similar copyright infringement case in 2006 against Walmart, the parent company of North Fork Bank and others.

"It is a lot more obvious if the other artist did something physically to the bull, but this is just placing or adding something else near the sculpture", said Bonneau.

  • Todd Kelly