Some Guy Put a Peeing Dog Statue Next to the Fearless Girl on Wall Street
The Fearless Girl statue has stood facing down the famous Charging Bull near Wall Street since March, an attempt to draw attention to the lack of women in executive and leadership positions, especially in the financial industry. While not everyone thought the young girl holding her hand up in front of the giant bull was a brilliant idea -- particularly since the massive financial firm that paid for it has only three women on its 11-member board of directors -- artist Alex Gardega decided what the Fearless Girl really needed was (sigh) a dog peeing on her leg.
You'll be stunned to find out that Gardega sees nothing wrong with this, nope, nothing sexist or misogynist or anything like that. He claims his dog-peeing-on-a-girl is merely a defense of the bull's creator, Arturo Di Modica. "[Fearless Girl] has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull," Gardega told The New York Post. "That bull had integrity."
"That piece [Fearless Girl] was not made by some individual artist making a statement," Gardega said. "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."
Fair enough, but as many have pointed out, whatever Fearless Girl's imperfect origins, it has since become a popular, widely embraced symbol and does in fact highlight a serious issue.
Fearless Girl's creator, Kristen Visbal, told Gothamist that the idea behind her piece was "to spotlight the need for gender diversity at the leadership level. I'd say we did it! We collaborated to conceive of this powerful symbol with universal appeal that is strong, yet not confrontational."
Gardega's peeing pug, made out of papier-mâché and spray-painted bronze, cost about $35 to make, and only stood next to the Fearless Girl for a few hours before Gardega himself removed it. "I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull," he explained. "I wanted it to be, like, punk-rock lo-fi as a statement."
Whatever your feelings toward Gardega's artistic intentions, it's a little ridiculous of him dismiss criticism. The "Pissing Pug" is an intentionally bad-looking dog peeing on a girl who, for many, represents women fighting back against sexism. It shouldn't be difficult for Gardega to understand people's objections.
Fearless Girl will stand in her place through at least early 2018. Let's hope that, until then, no one else decides she needs another pet.