By Nicole Brown amNewYork, New York
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A peeing dog sculpture appeared briefly today alongside the "Fearless Girl" statue in the financial district. The artist behind the dog sculpture insisted he didn't want to be misconstrued as anti-feminist, he was just standing up for the "Charging Bull" and its sculptor, Arturo Di Modica.
amNewYork, New York
The artist behind a peeing dog sculpture that briefly appeared next to the "Fearless Girl" statue in Manhattan on Monday likened the placement of the 4-foot bronze girl to "putting a statue across from David," the famous Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo.
Alex Gardega, an NYC-based painter, said he was standing up for the "Charging Bull" and its sculptor, Arturo Di Modica, when he put the papier-mache dog next to the "Fearless Girl" at about 9 a.m. Monday.
The dog had its hind leg raised and was angled toward the girl's left leg.
Gardega sees the statue, which appeared on the eve of International Women's Day in March and is read by many as a symbolic reminder of the lack of women on financial boards, as a corporation's disrespect for the bull.
"It's an advertisement for an index fund," Gardega said in a phone interview.
The statue of the girl was commissioned by the State Street Global Advisors firm and sculpted by artist Kristen Visbal.
When it was originally placed, it was accompanied by a plaque that said, "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference." SHE is an abbreviation for an index fund the company has to promote companies with women in leadership roles.
" 'Fearless Girl' was created to stand as a reminder that having more women in leadership positions positively contributes to overall performance and strengthens our economy," State Street said in a statement.
Gardega, who removed the dog sculpture about three hours after he put it up, insisted he didn't want to be misconstrued as anti-feminist and that he would feel differently about the "Fearless Girl" if it was commissioned by an independent artist, rather than the firm.
"I just think it's kinda rude for a corporation to go in there and take away from Arturo's piece," he said.
The artist said he intended for the sculpture to be cheap and humorous. "It amazed me that people actually got upset over a piece of papier-mache," he said, adding that about half the people he saw react to it were upset by it.
Di Modica also takes issue with the "Fearless Girl." He urged the city in April to remove the statue, arguing that it violates his artistic copyright.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has defended the statue and said in March that a permit to allow it to stay was extended until at least February 2018.