One pissed off artist. One piss poor decision.
Urine trouble. Correction, I mean – you’re in trouble, Alex Gardega. What in the world would possess you to take something as wonderful and iconic as the Fearless Girl Statue on Wall Street and desecrate it with a pissing dog?
For those of you who haven’t heard, or read, on Memorial Day last Monday, New York City artist Alex Gardega briefly put a sculpture of his own next to Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl”. It was the nature of the statue that was distasteful and crass. Gardega’s statue was a bronze, clay dog with leg lifted up in urination mode. He placed the clay dog right next to the Fearless Girl Statue, as if the dog was peeing on her. In a matter of New York Seconds, media had termed the dog statue; “Sketchy Dog” and “Peeing Pug.”
The “Fearless Girl” statue was installed to honor International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017 to help draw attention to the pay gap between men and women and gender inequality. She stands strong on Wall Street, staring down the “Charging Bull” statue which was created by Italian artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989.
It appears Gardega had had enough. He believed “Fearless Girl” was a publicity stunt, and had nothing to do with feminism. In his opinion she was a sign of disrespect to Di Modica, the artist of the bull. The “Fearless Girl” was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, an investment service company. According to the company, it was installed as a way to make people aware of the gender pay gap and to draw attention to the glaring fact that few women are on financial boards. However, this didn’t sit well with Gardega. He explained, “That piece, [‘Fearless Girl’] was not made by some individual artist making a statement. It was made by a billion dollar financial firm trying to promote an index fund. It is advertising/promotion in the guise of art. That was my only point.”
That was your point? The point of the “Fearless Girl” statue was to bring awareness, to build courage, and to inspire hope. She is there to let us know that women only earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. She is there to remind us the percentage of female CEO’s in Fortune 500 companies is as low as 4%. She does not stand there defiant, hands on hips, to show disrespect. She is there to inspire.
To young girls everywhere who wear a Batman backpack to school, with dreams of becoming a Navy pilot, soaring to new heights, “Fearless Girl” tells them, ‘YOU CAN!’ To the female grad student who is completing her medical training, knowing all the while males make up almost 70% of active physicians, “Fearless Girl” winks and nods, ‘YOU CAN!’ To all the working mothers, wives and independent single women who are just beginning their careers, “Fearless Girl” exclaims, ‘Welcome to the new world, the wave of change is boldly blowing.’
The public opinion of Gardega, and his pissing dog, was an obvious negative, as passerby’s glared and kicked at the pissing pooch. But “Fearless Girl” simply and eloquently stood her ground. Hands on hips, head tilted back, certainty in her stare; she represents the millions of woman who have had to fight for every little dignity bestowed upon them. A peeing dog was no match for “Fearless Girl”. It would be interesting, though, to hear what she would say to the offense of the little dog at her leg. Perhaps her words would simply be,
“Let him be, he is just a small creature who was never taught to respect a woman. Let him remind those who pass, why I am standing here in the first place.”
As for the clay dog, it was removed within three hours. As for Alex Gardega, public opinion clearly stated, Piss Off!
Plaid Swan Inc. is a female owned and operated marketing communications firm with multiple offices located in the Midwest. Looking to make your company’s blog stand out? Don’t have a blog, but want one? What’s a BLOG? Contact us today to see how we can bring your brand to a new stellar level!
Plaid Swan: (563) 556-1633
-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist