Alex Gardega says most people don’t know the provenance of the statue enacted opposite Wall Street’s Charging Bull
The pissing pug lasted barely three hours.
New York muralist Alex Gardega has removed his papier-mâché statue of a dog peeing on Fearless Girl, a monument of a defiant little girl that was erected for International Women’s Day in March and quickly became a symbol of feminism and resistance. Gardega installed it Monday morning and it was off by noon. “I took it [down] to save its life,” he tells Moneyish.
Located in Manhattan’s financial district, Fearless Girl has attracted headlines and heated controversy since it was enacted opposite Charging Bull, the highly iconic statue put up to celebrate America’s financial industry. Fearless Girl was put up by State Street Global Advisors, a U.S. financial firm, on a temporary permit. Its stay was extended after positive reviews–photos of people posing with it are all over social media. Nonetheless, State Street is being sued by Bull sculptor Arturo Di Modica for copyright infringement.
Gardega says he removed the Pissing Pug on Monday because half the people that saw it didn’t like it. He saw two people kick it and another try to take it away. (The other half, he says, petted the dog.) But he says most people don’t understand that he was trying to protect a New York City icon from a financial firm. “I’m pro feminism but this isn’t a statue made by an artist standing up to Wall Street, it’s by a corporation,” Gardega says. “If they can invade the bull’s sacred space, I can invade its sacred space.”
“We continue to be grateful to the countless people around the world who continue to responded so enthusiastically to what the Fearless Girl represents – the power and potential of having more women in leadership,” State Street said via a statement.
Anita Landy, a tourist visiting from Phoenix, AZ, seemed glad the dog was removed, though she wasn’t aware of the Pug’s temporal stay until a reporter told her. “Fearless Girl is awesome because it stands up for women,” she says. “The peeing dog wasn’t nice so I’m glad it’s gone.”
The New York City Mayor’s office and the Department of Transportation didn’t return requests for comment.
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