Fearless Girl

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Fearless Girl
Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visbal.jpg
The statue in March 2017
Artist Kristen Visbal
Medium Bronze sculpture
Dimensions 50 inches (130 cm) tall[1]
Weight 250 pounds (110 kg)
Location New York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates 40°42′20″N 74°00′48″W / 40.705632°N 74.013392°W / 40.705632; -74.013392Coordinates: 40°42′20″N 74°00′48″W / 40.705632°N 74.013392°W / 40.705632; -74.013392
Owner State Street Global Advisors

Fearless Girl is a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors via McCann New York, depicting a girl facing the Charging Bull (or Wall Street Bull) statue.[2] It was installed on March 7, 2017, at Bowling Green in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The statue measures approximately 50 inches (130 cm) tall, and weighs about 250 pounds (110 kg).

Fearless Girl was commissioned by investment firm State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) to advertise for an index fund which comprises gender-diverse companies that have a relatively high percentage of women among their senior leadership. The plaque below the statue states: "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference," with "SHE" being both a descriptive pronoun and the fund's NASDAQ ticker symbol.

Both Fearless Girl and Charging Bull are set to be moved three blocks away to the New York Stock Exchange by the end of 2018.

Description[edit]

Fearless Girl, which measures approximately 50 inches (130 cm) tall and weighs about 250 pounds (110 kg),[1] faces Charging Bull, a much larger and heavier bronze statue that is 11 feet (3.4 m) tall and weighs 7,100 pounds (3,200 kg).[3][1] Both are located in Manhattan's Bowling Green, at the intersection of Broadway and Whitehall Street.[4]

Fearless Girl is meant to "send a message" about workplace gender diversity and encourage companies to recruit women to their boards.[5] The plaque below the statue states: "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference," with SHE referring to both the gender of the subject and the fund's NASDAQ ticker symbol.[6]

The commission by State Street Global Advisors specified that the statue should depict a girl with hands on her hips and chin up, with a height of 36 inches, which Kristen Visbal and her collaborators then increased to 50 inches, to better match the size of Charging Bull.[1] Still, Visbal commented that "I made sure to keep her features soft; she's not defiant, she's brave, proud, and strong, not belligerent".[1] She modeled the sculpture on two children, but many of the distinguishing features were removed so that it would be universally appealing. A child who would represent all children "so everyone could relate to the Fearless Girl."[1]

History[edit]

The statue was installed on March 7, 2017—the day before International Women's Day—by State Street Global Advisors, in a campaign developed by advertising agency McCann New York.[7] SSgA was celebrating the first anniversary of its "Gender Diversity Index" fund that "invests in U.S. large-capitalization companies that rank among the highest in their sector in achieving gender diversity across senior leadership".[8] The concept for the statue was developed by Senior Art Director Lizzie Wilson and Senior Copywriter Tali Gumbiner. Wilson and Gumbiner established both the idea for the statue as well as the overall look of the girl using countless moodboards and imagery, which Visbal referenced.[9]

Fearless Girl was originally given a one-week City Hall permit that was later extended to 30 days.[10] Later, it was announced that the statue would remain in place through February 2018.[11][12] Among those advocating for the statue to stay longer was U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York's 12th congressional district, who stated, "This statue has touched hearts across the world with its symbolism of the resiliency of women."[13] New York City Public Advocate Letitia James wrote a letter that supported keeping the statue, "Fearless Girl stands as a powerful beacon, showing women—young and old—that no dream is too big and no ceiling is too high".[14]

A petition on Change.org asking for the statue to be made permanent gathered 2,500 signatures in its first 48 hours.[10][15] Efforts to make the statue permanent continued after the statue was granted a one-year permit.[16] In April 2018, after Fearless Girl had been in place for thirteen months, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that both Charging Bull and Fearless Girl would be moved to a location facing the New York Stock Exchange. The move would occur before the end of 2018.[17][18]

Controversies[edit]

Juxtaposition with Charging Bull[edit]

The juxtaposition of Fearless Girl and Charging Bull upset some observers, including sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who installed Charging Bull in 1989.

Arturo Di Modica, who installed Charging Bull in 1989, asked that the statue of the girl be removed, arguing that the piece exploited his work for commercial purposes and altered the perception of the bull.[19] He called Fearless Girl "an advertising trick" that he wants relocated, citing its political messaging.[20][1]

On April 12, 2017, Di Modica and his attorney, former New York Civil Liberties Union director Norman Siegel, challenged city officials who let the Fearless Girl statue be installed.[21][22] Di Modica said that the statue corrupted Charging Bull's artistic integrity by distorting the intent of his statue from "a symbol of prosperity and for strength" into a villain, and does so for SSgA's commercial gain.[23][24] Siegel said a lawsuit had not been filed as of yet.[21][22] De Blasio supported keeping the statue, tweeting that "Men who don't like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl."[25]

Some women criticized the statue as "corporate feminism" that violated their own feminist principles.[26][27] The New York Times columnist Gina Bellafante called it "an exercise in corporate imaging" by State Street, which, she wrote, had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Department of Justice, agreeing to pay more than $64 million to resolve fraud charges for secretly billing clients for unwarranted commissions. "Corporate feminism", she wrote, "operates with the singular goal of aiding and abetting a universe of mothers who tuck their daughters in at night whispering, 'Someday, honey, you can lead the emerging markets and sovereign debt team at Citigroup, and then become a director at Yahoo.'"[28] Christine Emba, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, wrote that the statue "portrays the empowered woman as a child, reinforcing the idea of femaleness as cute and inoffensive — a child with potential, maybe, but not all the way there."[29]

Other controversies[edit]

Gothamist reported on March 20, 2017, that masked New York activists covered the statue in "Make America Great Again" apparel and a US flag. They also placed pro-Donald Trump signs on it, including one reading "VETS B4 ILLEGALS" and another with a drawing of Pepe the Frog.[30]

On May 29, 2017, artist Alex Gardega added a statue of a small dog, titled Pissing Pug (alternatively Peeing Pug[31] or Sketchy Dog), and removed it after approximately three hours.[32] He described Fearless Girl as "corporate nonsense" and "disrespect to the artist that made the bull."[33]

Effects[edit]

As reported by Bloomberg News, analysts from marketing firm Apex Marketing estimated that the statue resulted in $7.4 million in free publicity for SSGA as of April 2017, broken down into $201,075 worth of free radio coverage, $393,047 worth of free social media coverage, $3,115,751 worth of free TV coverage, and $3,729,926 worth of free online/print news coverage.[34]

On October 6, 2017, State Street, the company that funded Fearless Girl, came to a settlement with its female and minority employees to pay up to $5.5 million for violating equal pay rights.[35]

At the 2017 Cannes Lions festival, Fearless Girl won three Grand Prix on the first day of the event alone, in the Glass (which deals with marketing addressing gender inequality) and PR categories, and tying for first in the Outdoor category alongside a campaign by Twitter.[36]

Duplicates[edit]

A duplicate of the sculpture was unveiled outside the Grand Hotel in the Norwegian city of Oslo on March 8, 2018. It faces the Norwegian parliament Stortinget.[37][38]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dobnik, Verena (March 26, 2017). "Will New York invite the 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay on Wall Street?". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Eight Things You Don't Know About 'Fearless Girl'". Advertising Age. 
  3. ^ Schwedel, Heather (March 7, 2017). "A Bronze Little Girl Has Arrived to Face Down the Wall Street Bull. This Should Go Well". Slate. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (March 7, 2017). "Why a defiant girl is staring down the Wall Street bull". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ Fierberg, Emma; Levy, Rachael (March 7, 2017). "A $2.5 trillion asset manager just put a statue of a defiant girl in front of the Wall Street bull". Business Insider. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ Dutram, Eric (March 27, 2017). "The 'Fearless Girl' Statue Isn't a Symbol, It Is an Advertisement". NASDAQ.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  7. ^ Dobnik, Verena (March 9, 2017). "Behind NYC's 'Fearless Girl' statue are 2 corporate giants". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ Mavro, Jill (March 7, 2017). "Driving Gender Diversity with a Bold New Statement". SPDR Blog. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  9. ^ Nudd, Tim (March 10, 2017). "The Story of 'The Fearless Girl,' From the Women at McCann Who Made Her". Adweek. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Revesz, Rachel (March 9, 2017). "Campaign launches to make 'Fearless Girl' statue on Wall Street permanent". The Independent. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ "'Fearless Girl' statue will stay through early next year". CNN Money. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  12. ^ Silva, Daniella (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' statue will face off Wall Street bull for another year". NBC News. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  13. ^ O'Connor, Roision (March 27, 2017). "The Fearless Girl statue will stay on Wall Street until 2018". The Independent. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Letitia James wants 'Fearless Girl' to be permanent". NY Daily News. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  15. ^ Bisaria, Anjali (March 10, 2017). "People Have Now Launched A Campaign To Make The 'Fearless Girl' Statue Permanent At Wall Street". IndiaTimes. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  16. ^ Stack, Liam (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' Statue to Stay in Financial District (for Now)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ Goodman, J. David (2018-04-19). "'Fearless Girl' to Move, and She May Take the Wall Street Bull With Her". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-06. 
  18. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (April 19, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' is moving to a new home". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  19. ^ Mettler, Katie (April 12, 2017). "Charging Bull sculptor says Fearless Girl distorts his art, so he's fighting back". Chicago Tribune. 
  20. ^ Stack, Liam (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' Statue to Stay in Financial District (for Now)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  21. ^ a b "'Charging Bull' sculptor says New York's 'Fearless Girl' statue violates his rights". The Guardian. Associated Press. April 11, 2017. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Barron, James (April 12, 2017). "Wounded by 'Fearless Girl,' Creator of 'Charging Bull' Wants Her to Move". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  23. ^ "'Charging Bull' sculptor says 'Fearless Girl' distorts his art. He's fighting back". Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Sculptor Of Wall Street Bull Says 'Fearless Girl' Horns In On His Work". NPR. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  25. ^ Smith, Aaron (12 April 2017). "NYC mayor to 'Charging Bull' artist: 'Fearless Girl is staying put.'". CNNMoney. 
  26. ^ The Sculpture of a “Fearless Girl” on Wall Street Is Fake Corporate Feminism. The bronze statue installed by an advertising firm and a financial firm represents basically everything that’s wrong with our society. Jillian Steinhauer, Hyperallergic, March 10, 2017
  27. ^ The 'Fearless Girl' statue sums up what's wrong with feminism today. Corporate feminism always ends up betraying women’s struggle for justice. That’s why this Wall Street-funded sculpture will never be a symbol to embrace. Cara Marsh Sheffler. The Guardian. March 14, 2017
  28. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (March 16, 2017). "The False Feminism of 'Fearless Girl'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  29. ^ Emba, Christine (April 14, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' and 'Charging Bull' are more alike than you'd think". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Men In MAGA Hats Transform 'Fearless Girl' Statue Into Trump Supporter". Gothamist. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  31. ^ "'Fearless Girl' joined briefly by 'Peeing Pug' statue". CNNMoney. May 30, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Urinating dog statue placed next to "Fearless Girl" as a critique". NBC News. 
  33. ^ Fugallo, Nick; Jaeger, Max (2017-05-29). "Pissed-off artist adds statue of urinating dog next to 'Fearless Girl'". New York Post. Jesse Angelo. ISSN 1090-3321. Archived from the original on 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  34. ^ "The Fearless Girl Is Worth $7.4 Million in Free Publicity for This Company". Bloomberg.com. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-06-01. 
  35. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/business/fearless-girl-settlement.html
  36. ^ "Fearless Girl Takes Cannes by Storm, Winning 3 Grand Prix on Her First Day". Adweek. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  37. ^ "Skapte spetakkel på Wall Street - nå står «Fearless girl» på Karl Johan". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2018-03-08. there is a duplicate that has now come to Oslo. 
  38. ^ "Norge har fått sin egen «Fearless Girl»". TV 2 (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2018-03-08. A duplicate of the world-renowned statue is unveiled 
  39. ^ Staff, Writer (2018-06-12). ""Fearless Girl" Earns Best in Show "Most" Distinction At AICP Next Awards". Shoot.com. DCA Business Media LLC. Retrieved 2018-06-20. 
  40. ^ Sherwood, I-Hsien (2018-05-31). "'FEARLESS GIRL' TAKES TOP HONOR AT 2018 EFFIE AWARDS". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2018-06-20.