Kristen Visbal’s sculpture, “Fearless Girl”, was unveiled in Manhattan's Financial District, New York, as an advertisement for an index fund which comprises gender diverse companies that have a higher percentage of women among their senior leadership. The “fearless girl” was settled in front of the famous Wall Street “Bull” of the sculptor Arturo di Modica.
“Fearless Girl” strategical position is, without question, the reason of its power’s dimension. The sculpture of the girl facing the “bull” quickly became a symbol of entrepreneurship and women’s strength.
However, the author of the bull’s sculpture, Di Modica, intends to object the decision of the New York mayor in maintaining the “fearless girl” sculpture in front of the “bull”. The reason for this objection lays in the fact of the Author considering that the Bull’s integrity, as a work, is in danger, given that, in contrast with the delicacy and unselfishness of the “fearless girl”, the “bull” gains an aggressive and threatening image, losing, according to the author’s opinion, its symbolism of prosperity and strength, which is globally known as one of America’s symbols. This argument is especially turbulent in the USA, since there has been some resistance in what concerns the idea of protection of the “personal rights” of a work’s intellectual creator.
According to Di Modica’s legal representative, the proximity between the “fearless girl” and the “bull” sculptures, adding the resemblance of the bronze design utilized, creates the idea that the two pieces are together, as one, giving a totally different idea of the one intended by the bull’s sculptor. Also adds that the collocation of the “fearless girl” sculpture is a modification to the bull’s sculpture.
Di Modica’s representative goes further, stating that the placement of the child’s bronze statue was turning the once noble figure of the “bull” into a sculpture that represents misogyny to the general public. Furthermore, he questions the sense of the girl’s statue without the bull’s existence, since, without this last, the idea of fighting the male domination in the American enterprises leadership would be lost, given that the bull provides the necessary context for the message’s goal.
The legal representatives of the “Fearless Girl” claim that this sculpture does not represent a modification to the bull’s piece, since they are completely independent.
Ironically, any legal battle between the “bull” and the “girl” is likely to increase the value of both sculptures. A lawsuit would draw new attention to both and could drive tourism and replica sales.