News From The Art World: March

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‘Charging Bull’ vs. ‘Fearless Girl’ Controversy Rumbles On

The legal wrangling and clash of egos involved in this seemingly petty tale of an iconic New York sculpture and the ‘upstart’ guerilla installation have attracted attention for all the wrong reasons lately. This now seems to be coming to a head with the mysterious guardian of ‘Charging Bull,’  Arthuro Piccolo now claiming that a decision to house Fearless Girl indefinitely is a conspiracy that violates the copyrights owned by the sculptor Arturo Di Modica.

“I believe that the evidence will support that both of you, members of your staffs and McCann Advertising and their executives were involved,” said Piccolo, “in a highly coordinated carefully planned conspiracy to defraud Arturo DiModica of his copyright.”

Charging Bull is itself the very same kind of guerilla art that Fearless Girl is being threatened with and it too was unceremoniously placed on Wall Street overnight with no warning. In fact, Fearless Girl has some quite heavyweight backers in the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, and executive director at the Office of Citywide Event Coordination, Michael Carey. But Piccolos belief that the original artwork’s meaning has changed because of ‘Girl’, is steadfast.

Fearless Girl was created by Kristen Visbal with what appears strong support for the feminist movement, but in light of recent events, it’s being argued that the sculpture is aiming to take an opportunistic ride on the coattails of a growing movement intended to empower women. Arturo Di Modica has publicly stated he believes girl to be ‘an advertising trick,’ not least because with the addition of ‘Girl’ the bull now takes on an antagonist role which was never its intended sentiment.

This has lead to fiery exchanges between the two artists which culminated in this scathing email from Piccolo addressed to Visbal.

Kristen Visbal,

Any competent sculptor would be embarrassed and regretful for having illegally taken another sculptor’s work and misused it for their own money making purposes. Obviously you do not deserve to be called an artist because true artists respect other artists’ work and would NEVER think of abusing another artist’s work for their own purpose worse completely destroying the meaning of the original work turning it into a negative image or as Mayor de Blasio has said representing “fear.”

Arturo DiModica’s magnificent Charging Bull which he generously donated to NYC at his own expense not like you you were paid  a huge sum by a large corporation which a very poor record of equality for women at their own firm which does not seem to bother you at all.

You were paid to turn a work of sculpture that for 27 years has represented the positive power of Capitalism and optimism for a better future and you have abuse Arturo’s work to make Charging Bull into scary animal that supposedly represents what is wrong with corporations that do not treat women as equals. SHAME ON YOU.

Your other comments to the NY Post are a mockery and complete con stating “The bull is beautiful, it’s a stunning piece of art,”  Really Then you go and vandalize its meaning forever !! And then stating Arturo “As an artist, he’s exceptional.”  Is that why you made sure NOT to tell him what you were going to do with Charging Bull and NOT seek his permission.

There is a very specific reason why you and the others involved in this desecration of Arturo’s work worked in compete secrecy to insure Arturo diModica and others would know nothing about it while you violated Arturo’s copyright. That smug look on your face in the NY Post article and your comment ” poor Arturo” in response  to his outage over what you have done label you for hat you are an exploiter.

The idea that if some other sculptor decided to use your Fearless Girl to turn her into some kind of negative image and mock your work and also do it in secret you would be complimenting them for abusing your work for their own purpose or allow them to do so is nonsense. Your comments are a perfect definition of hypocrisy.

If you are capable of any sincerity join us in agreeing to display Fearless Girl where she belongs where she an do REAL good standing in front of the New York Stock Exchange. With your approval that can be  done as soon as possible. See below.

Arthur Piccolo

Bowling Green Association



Galerie Eva Presenhuber Set For Expansion In New York

In a move that seems symptomatic of the gallery scene lately, Galerie Eva Presenhuber is announcing plans to expand into the fabled New York space. Many historic and prestigious galleries have been closing up shop lately as a result of a sort of artistic gentrification. Galleries with significant financial backing, however, seem to be thriving and expanding all the time. The move will see the Zurich gallery move into Ugo Rondinone’s space at 39 Great Jones Street in Soho. The gallery space formerly known as Karma, famous for exhibiting only one artist at a time, will open its doors again on the 5th of May under a new guise and a new showing by Tobias Pils.

Presenhuber is fairly new to the art world having opened their first gallery spaces in 2003 in Zurich. Their portfolio of artists can only be described as ‘elite’ and includes the likes of Michael Williams, the estate of Jay DeFeo, Henry Taylor, Carroll Dunham, Rondinone, John Giorno, Trisha Donnelly, and Joe Bradley.