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New York artist places a ‘Pissing Pug’ at the feet of the ‘Fearless Girl’

The "Fearless Girl" statue faced Wall Street's charging bull statue in New York in March.
The "Fearless Girl" statue faced Wall Street's charging bull statue in New York in March. Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

A New York artist is sparking controversy after he installed a papier-mache dog that appeared to be urinating on the recently installed and highly popular “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street.

Artist Alex Gardega said he placed the piece, which he called the “Pissing Pug,” on Monday around 9 a.m. and removed it around noon the same day.

In an interview with the Globe, Gardega said he created the piece as a rebuke to State Street Global Advisors, which was behind the surprise installation of the “Fearless Girl,” which first appeared back in March ahead of International Women’s Day. The statue depicts a young girl with her fists defiantly placed on her hips, staring down the much larger statue of a charging bull on Wall Street.

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Gardega said he didn’t think the “Fearless Girl” statue represented feminism, because it was commissioned by State Street and not created by an independent artist.

“It had nothing to do with feminism. It’s corporate feminism,” Gardega said of the “Fearless Girl” statue.

In a statement, State Street did not directly respond to Gardega’s dog but said the response to the “Fearless Girl” statue continues to be enthusiastic.

“‘Fearless Girl’ was created to stand as a reminder that having more women in leadership positions positively contributes to overall performance and strengthens our economy,” the statement said.

He also said he felt the “Fearless Girl” statue invaded the space of sculptor Arturo Di Modica’s
“Charging Bull,” which was installed surreptitiously in 1989 following a stock market crash as a show of resilience. It has since become a visible symbol of Wall Street and the financial industry.

The “Fearless Girl” statue “is really not what people think it is,” Gardega continued. “If they’re allowed to invade his space then I’ll invade their space.”

Reaction to the placement of the dog was swift online, with many on Twitter calling the display sexist and an example of male fragility. On Wall Street Monday, passersby had mixed reactions, Gardega said.

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“Some people loved it. Some people hated it, so a couple people kicked it. Some people got really offended,” he said.

Gardega said that while he doesn’t know the “Charging Bull” artist personally, he noted that the artist was suing over the “Fearless Girl” statue and was “infuriated” by its placement.


Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com.