Since 1989, the Charging Bull statue in New York, New York has been said to symbolize the strength and power of the American people. However, a new addition is now facing up alongside this timeless bronze bull.
Fearless Girl was placed as a temporary installment on the eve of International Women’s Day. Initially created as advertising by the State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the 250 pound statue was created to celebrate the SSGA’s first anniversary of its Gender Diversity Index.
Although the statue was first created as an advertisement to display that gender diverse companies now have more women among their senior leadership positions, it now represents much more. The once simple installment is now being wildly debated. Some argue the statue represents corporate feminism, which goes against some feminist principles, while other argue it acts as a powerful beacon.
The creator of the bull statue, Arturo Di Modica, requested the Fearless Girl statue be removed. He believes that the installation of the statue misconstrues his own sculpture. Modica believes the bull represents prosperity and strength, but adding Fearless Girl villainizes the piece.
Although adding the Fearless Girl piece may change the meaning behind the bull, it is an important topic that must be represented. Adding the Fearless Girl statue represents strength and persistence even in difficult times. Keeping the piece and allowing it to transform the lone bull could, in certain ways, represent steps toward equality and acceptance. However, it is also similarly true that art is sacred from person to person and potentially changing the meaning behind the bull could be seen as unfair to the artist.
It is a difficult line to cross because in one instance, keeping the girl could inspire women and girls to stand their ground, but in another instance, allowing the statue to stay steps on the artists’ toes. There are compromises that could be made in order to ensure both parties are satisfied with their artistic representation.
Allowing the Bull to remain as it is and moving the Fearless Girl to an area all its own may be the best solution. In the meantime, the installation will remain where it is until February 2018, according to political officials of New York.