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‘Pissing Pug’ vs ‘Fearless Girl’: Sculpture Wars in NYC Art Culture 

‘Pissing Pug’ vs ‘Fearless Girl’: Sculpture Wars in NYC

New York (Sputnik) – Something of a sculpture garden is forming in downtown New York, as one piece of art responds to the next in what is becoming a cultural echo chamber in America’s busiest financial hub.

Local artist Alex Gardega, seeking to make his mark in a competitive arena, installed his “Pissing Pug” statue within striking distance of the leg of the increasingly famous “Fearless Girl” statue, itself installed as a counter to the rampant “Charging Bull” in downtown New York City’s Wall Street financial district.

Wall Street is and has always been about power. Its iconic bull statue is considered by some to symbolize the trampling of any and all contrasting points of view, and serves as a reminder that the culture of global financial architecture embodied in the largest city in the US is unstoppable.

Until the little girl showed up.

Image Source: Flickr, Shinya Suzuki, Creative Commons

Created and installed by Kristen Visbal and financed by a Boston-based global financial services multinational corporation, the statue of the little Latina girl offered an antidote to the testosterone-laden gesture of the New York bull, and feminists, anti-capitalists and just plain folks loved it.

Gardega, however, saw a darker element to the little girl statue, and — ahem — took the bull by the horns to install his own personal response to America’s love of dissent.

Angry with what he termed “corporate nonsense,” Gardega installed his Pissing Pug right next to the Fearless Girl, as if by urinating on a child’s leg the New York apologist could speak truth to power.

“It has nothing to do with feminism,” the Upper West side artist claimed according to the New York Post, adding that the statue of the Fearless Girl “is disrespect to the artist that made the bull.”

Inadvertently suggesting that the power of the bull has lessened of late, Gardega declared (notably in the past tense) that, “That bull had integrity,” the NY Post reports.

Image Source: Flickr, Anthony Quintano, Creative Commons

His artistic self-promotion has left many unimpressed, however.

Passersby on Monday pointed out that “Fearless Girl” now represents women or anyone standing up to unregulated capitalism taking on a male-dominated financial power structure. Gardega’s urinating dog, most said, was just another, sadly unsurprising, example of angry misogyny.

“That’s an a**hole move,” one woman commented, kicking the statue of the misshapen dog as she walked by.

Gardega has insisted that he is “pro-feminism,” but acknowledged that his dog, unlike the “Fearless Girl,” requires an explanation — which could diminish the focus of his unapologetically pro-New York City message.

According to the New York Daily News, Gardega, who has strong opinions about what constitutes a proper New Yorker, has promoted his work by painting a representation of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in his apartment, painting the faces of Fox News pundits on fresh chicken eggs and wandering around the city bartering his work for food and drink.

“I come up with a new invention or idea in my sketchbook almost every day,” the artist enthused to the NY Daily News.

The creator of the charging bull sculpture, an Italian by birth who became a US citizen through federal immigration processes, installed his statue without permission in 1987. He is now suing the company that paid to have “Fearless Girl” installed for trademark and copyright infringement.

Installed using a temporary city permit, the girl’s tenure on Wall Street was extended for an additional 11 months by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after heavy pressure from women’s rights groups and many others in the city.

This report was prepared by Sputnik News.

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