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Fearless Girl is a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), a large asset management company. The statue was installed on March 7, 2017, in anticipation of International Women's Day the following day. It depicts a girl four foot high, promoting female empowerment.[2] It is located in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City.

Fearless Girl
Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visbal.jpg
The statue in March 2017 (original location)
ArtistKristen Visbal
MediumBronze sculpture
Dimensions50 inches (130 cm) tall[1]
Weight250 pounds (110 kg)
LocationNew York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates40°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
OwnerState Street Global Advisors

Fearless Girl was commissioned to advertise for an index fund that comprises gender-diverse companies that have a relatively high percentage of women among their senior leadership. A plaque originally placed below the statue stated: "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.

The statue was first installed at Bowling Green, at the intersection of Broadway and Whitehall Street,[3] facing down the Charging Bull (or Wall Street Bull) statue,[4] but following complaints from that statue's sculptor, Arturo Di Modica, was removed in November 2018 and relocated to its current location the following month. A plaque with footprints was placed on the original site of Fearless Girl.[5]

DescriptionEdit

Fearless Girl, which measures approximately 50 inches (130 cm) tall and weighs about 250 pounds (110 kg).[1] As first placed, it faced 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).[6]

Fearless Girl is meant to "send a message" about workplace gender diversity and encourage companies to recruit women to their boards.[7] The plaque below the statue stated: "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.[8]

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. Still, Visbal commented that "I made sure to keep her features soft; she's not defiant, she's brave, proud, and strong, not belligerent". She modeled the sculpture on two children from Delaware "so everyone could relate to the Fearless Girl."[1]

HistoryEdit

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.[9] 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".[10] 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.[11]

Fearless Girl was originally given a one-week City Hall permit that was later extended to 30 days.[12] Later, it was announced that the statue would remain in place through February 2018.[13][14] 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."[15] 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".[16]

A petition on Change.org asking for the statue to be made permanent gathered 2,500 signatures in its first 48 hours.[12][17] Efforts to make the statue permanent continued after the statue was granted a one-year permit.[18] 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.[19][20]

The statue was removed from its original location at Bowling Green on November 28, 2018.[5][21][22] On the spot where the statue stood was placed a marker which read, "Fearless Girl is on the move to the New York Stock Exchange. Until she's there, stand for her." The plaque has footprints where people can stand.[5] The statue was unveiled on December 10 at its new site facing the New York Stock Exchange.[23]

ControversiesEdit

Juxtaposition with Charging BullEdit

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

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.[24] He called Fearless Girl "an advertising trick" that he wants relocated.[25][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.[26][27] 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.[28][29] Siegel said a lawsuit had not been filed as of yet.[26][27] 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."[30]

Feminist concernsEdit

Some women criticized the statue as "corporate feminism" that violated their own feminist principles.[31][32] 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.'"[33] 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."[34]

Other controversiesEdit

On May 29, 2017, artist Alex Gardega added a statue of a small dog, titled Pissing Pug (alternatively Peeing Pug[35] or Sketchy Dog), and removed it after approximately three hours.[36]

Gothamist reported on March 20, 2017, that masked activists had 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.[37]

On October 6, 2017, State Street, the company that funded Fearless Girl, paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit from its female and minority employees who alleged the company violated equal pay rights.[38]

On February 14, 2019, State Street Global Advisors filed a lawsuit against Kristen Visbal, claiming that she has made and sold replicas of the statue in violation of her contract with the company. The suit claims the artist made at least three unauthorized Fearless Girl reproductions that could damage the company's global campaign in support of female leadership and gender diversity.[39] Court filings reported that replica Fearless Girl statues were selling for as much as $250,000.[40]

EffectsEdit

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.[41]

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.[42]

DuplicatesEdit

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.[43][44]

Another duplicate was revealed by Kristen Visbal at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, before Women's Day at March 8, 2019. It is planned to stand there for four years.[45]

Yet another was unveiled in Paternoster Square, near the London Stock Exchange in March 2019, to remain there until June 2019.[46]

In March 2019, St. Timothy's School displayed another duplicate on its campus. It is set to remain in its place permanently.

AwardsEdit

  • The Most Next Award, 2018 Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Next Awards[47]
  • Grand Effie – best in show, North American Effie Awards[48]
  • Fearless Girl won 18 Cannes Lions at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity:[49]
    • Titanium: Grand Prix
    • Outdoor: Grand Prix, one gold
    • PR: Grand Prix, one gold, one silver
    • Glass: Grand Prix
    • Promo and Activation: Two golds, one silver
    • Media: Two golds
    • Direct: Two golds, one silver, one bronze
    • Design: Two golds

Fearless Girl is one of only two campaigns that have ever won four Grand Prix at Cannes.[49]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d 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. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/28/new-york-fearless-girl-charging-bull-wall-street
  3. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (March 7, 2017). "Why a defiant girl is staring down the Wall Street bull". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Eight Things You Don't Know About 'Fearless Girl'". Advertising Age.
  5. ^ a b c Moyer, Liz (November 28, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' on the move, but leaves footprints for visitors to stand in her place". CNBC. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Dutram, Eric (March 27, 2017). "The 'Fearless Girl' Statue Isn't a Symbol, It Is an Advertisement". NASDAQ.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Mavro, Jill (March 7, 2017). "Driving Gender Diversity with a Bold New Statement". SPDR Blog. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Nudd, Tim (March 10, 2017). "The Story of 'The Fearless Girl,' From the Women at McCann Who Made Her". Adweek. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Revesz, Rachel (March 9, 2017). "Campaign launches to make 'Fearless Girl' statue on Wall Street permanent". The Independent. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  13. ^ "'Fearless Girl' statue will stay through early next year". CNN Money. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  14. ^ Silva, Daniella (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' statue will face off Wall Street bull for another year". NBC News. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  15. ^ O'Connor, Roision (March 27, 2017). "The Fearless Girl statue will stay on Wall Street until 2018". The Independent. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Letitia James wants 'Fearless Girl' to be permanent". NY Daily News. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Stack, Liam (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' Statue to Stay in Financial District (for Now)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Goodman, J. David (April 19, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' to Move, and She May Take the Wall Street Bull With Her". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  20. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle (April 19, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' is moving to a new home". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "Gone Girl: Lower Manhattan 'Fearless Girl' Statue Is 'On The Move'". NPR.org. November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  22. ^ "'Fearless Girl' statue moved from spot opposite bull". ABC7 New York. November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  23. ^ Li, Yun (December 10, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' unveiled in front of NYSE, moved away from 'Charging Bull'". CNBC. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  24. ^ Mettler, Katie (April 12, 2017). "Charging Bull sculptor says Fearless Girl distorts his art, so he's fighting back". Chicago Tribune.
  25. ^ Stack, Liam (March 27, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' Statue to Stay in Financial District (for Now)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "'Charging Bull' sculptor says 'Fearless Girl' distorts his art. He's fighting back". Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  29. ^ "Sculptor Of Wall Street Bull Says 'Fearless Girl' Horns In On His Work". NPR. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  30. ^ Smith, Aaron (April 12, 2017). "NYC mayor to 'Charging Bull' artist: 'Fearless Girl is staying put.'". CNNMoney.
  31. ^ 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
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (March 16, 2017). "The False Feminism of 'Fearless Girl'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  34. ^ Emba, Christine (April 14, 2017). "'Fearless Girl' and 'Charging Bull' are more alike than you'd think". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  35. ^ "'Fearless Girl' joined briefly by 'Peeing Pug' statue". CNNMoney. May 30, 2017.
  36. ^ "Urinating dog statue placed next to "Fearless Girl" as a critique". NBC News.
  37. ^ "Men In MAGA Hats Transform 'Fearless Girl' Statue Into Trump Supporter". Gothamist. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  38. ^ "Firm Behind 'Fearless Girl' Statue Underpaid Women, U.S. Says". The New York Times. October 6, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  39. ^ Kinsella, Eileen (February 19, 2019). "The Investment Firm That Commissioned Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' Is Suing the Artist for Making Replicas". artnet news. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  40. ^ Ryan, Greg (February 27, 2019). "Here's how much a "Fearless Girl" replica costs". bizwomen. American City Business Journals. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  41. ^ "The Fearless Girl Is Worth $7.4 Million in Free Publicity for This Company". Bloomberg.com. April 28, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  42. ^ "Fearless Girl Takes Cannes by Storm, Winning 3 Grand Prix on Her First Day". Adweek. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  43. ^ "Skapte spetakkel på Wall Street - nå står "Fearless girl" på Karl Johan". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved March 8, 2018. there is a duplicate that has now come to Oslo.
  44. ^ "Norge har fått sin egen "Fearless Girl"". TV 2 (in Norwegian). Retrieved March 8, 2018. A duplicate of the world-renowned statue is unveiled
  45. ^ The Fearless Girl at Fed Square, retrieved on 28 February 2019
  46. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-47469782
  47. ^ Staff, Writer (June 12, 2018). ""Fearless Girl" Earns Best in Show "Most" Distinction At AICP Next Awards". Shoot.com. DCA Business Media LLC. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  48. ^ Sherwood, I-Hsien (May 31, 2018). "'Fearless Girl' Takes Top Honor at 2018 EFFIE Awards". Advertising Age. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  49. ^ a b Griner, David (June 24, 2017). "Fearless Girl's Dominating Run at Cannes Ends With 4 Grand Prix and 18 Total Lions". Adweek. Retrieved October 17, 2018.