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The artist behind the “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street is accusing New York City of violating his rights by allowing the “Fearless Girl” statue to stare down his artwork.
Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica says the location of the bronze girl with her hands on her hips, erected for International Women’s Day, changes the intent of his work and thus infringes on his artistic copyright.
Di Modica wants the city to show what procedures it followed when Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who was prompted by tens of thousands of signatures requesting he keep “Fearless Girl” on Wall Street, extended the statue’s permit until February 2018. At a press conference this morning, Di Modica and his lawyers said they hope to amicably solve their issues with the city before filing a lawsuit.
Speaking to the New York Post in March, “Fearless Girl” artist Kristen Visbal said she sympathized with Di Modica’s concerns, “but the world changes and we are now running with this bull.”
Di Modica has called the girl an “advertising trick,” as its creation and installment was led by ad agency McCann New York and investment firm State Street Global Advisors in a campaign to show that companies perform better when women are in top positions.
While Di Modica is taking issue with the permitting process of “Fearless Girl,” it should be noted that he too installed “Charging Bull” on Wall Street in the middle of the night without a permit. His work was a response to the stock market crash of 1987, showing that the country was economically resilient despite setbacks. The city eventually allowed his statue to stay.
Jessica Machado is the IRL editor of the Daily Dot. Previously, she was an associate editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Elle, Vice, Salon, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Bitch, Bust, the Cut, the Awl, the Toast, among others.