The famous Charging Bull of Wall Street was installed on December 15, 1989, as an act of guerrilla art, entirely without city approval or funding. Artist Di Modica and the Bedi-Makky Art Foundry of Brooklyn put together well over a quarter of a million dollars to cast the hollow sculpture from 7,100 pounds of bronze and install it directly in front of the New York City Stock Exchange. It has stood there for the 27 years since, despite having only a so-called temporary permit (because it does not belong to the city—Di Modica continues to own it, and sues anyone who uses the image).
Now, the Bull has company. On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, another bronze was installed. Directly in the Bull’s path, in defiant pose with knees locked and fists on her hips, stands a small girl. Her ponytail and skirt fly in a breeze, and her sneakers are planted immovably on the cobblestones, everything about her stance powerful and declarative. Her face is confident, almost peaceful.
Fearless Girl is another piece of guerrilla art, in keeping with the Bull’s precedent. Sculptor Kristen Visbal has only a month’s permit. Installed less than 24 hours before International Women’s Day (March 8), her message is clear. The plaque at her feet makes it more so.
“Know the Power of Women in Leadership—SHE Makes a Difference,” it reads. A difference in the face of violent capitalism, says her placement.
Already a hit with passersby, she’s made a visual impact on Instagram and other photo sharing sites, with many selfies take alongside her. One passerby even gifted her with a pink cat-eared hat, icon of recent protest marches.
“This International Women’s Day, we created an image of female leadership for today and tomorrow. And put her somewhere no one could ignore,” says State Street Global Advisors, the major patron behind the sculpture’s creation. Fearless Girl’s placement is part of their campaign to influence more companies to promote women inside their leadership.