In Brief

Artist Places “Pissing Pug” Sculpture at the Feet of “Fearless Girl”

Alex Gardega installed a papier-mâché sculpture of a dog peeing on “Fearless Girl,” allegedly in protest of the girl’s fake feminism.

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For a brief moment this weekend, the “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street became a pee post, her dignity denigrated by the addition of a tiny sculpted pug lifting its leg over her left foot. The small canine, dubbed “Pissing Pug,” appeared yesterday morning, installed by artist Alex Gardega to protest the corporate feminism underlying the original statue, as the New York Post first reported. But it proved much less resilient than its target: Gardega removed his work just a few hours later, following public backlash.

“This is corporate nonsense,” Gardega told the Post, noting that “Fearless Girl,” which was made by artist Kristen Visbal and installed by financial firm State Street Global Advisors, “has nothing to do with feminism.” He added that it disrespects Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor whose “Charging Bull” has become a Wall Street icon since it was installed in 1989. Di Modica is currently seeking damages from New York City, claiming that “Fearless Girl,” which stands several feet in front of the bull, violates his artistic rights by transforming the meaning of his original work. “Fearless Girl” has received Mayor de Blasio’s blessing to stay on Wall Street at least through March 8, 2018, the next International Women’s Day.

Those who glimpsed Gardega’s brief canine addition to the plaza may have noticed that it was far less refined than the other two bronze works — it kind of resembles a squat churro with limbs. The artist created “Pissing Pug” out of papier-mâché that he then spray-painted bronze, according to Gothamist; its resulting crude appearance was apparently intentional.

“I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull,” Gardega told the Post. His message, however, failed to translate for many viewers, who saw the move as misogynistic.

Others have called out the hypocrisy of defiling “Fearless Girl” in order to protest the girl’s own alleged tainting of “Charging Bull” — particularly because Gardega attempted to convey his message through an image that’s insensitive to women, while also claiming to be “pro-feminism.”

The dog suffered some blows while it was up: Gardega told Gothamist that passersby kicked his sculpture and attempted to remove it, compelling him to take it away after a mere handful of hours. But because a taste of fame, whether bitter or sweet, does things to a person’s ego, Gardega is now reportedly planning to make a whole litter of pissing puppies, to be sprayed with gold paint and installed around Manhattan.

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