This weekend, New York artist Alex Gardega decided he'd had enough.
While "messing around" in his studio, Gardega decided to create a small sculpture of a urinating dog, which he placed beside the "Fearless Girl" statue's left leg for several hours Monday, drawing curious and angry onlookers and unleashing the latest round in the battle of Wall Street statues.
The name of the sculpture: "Pissing Pug." (Though he told NBC News that it was called "Sketchy Dog.")
This is Alex Gardega, the man who added 'pissing dog' next to 'Fearless Girl'— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) May 30, 2017
This is a misogynistic display regardless of what he says. pic.twitter.com/kr7IgSbmpX
"The logic explains itself," Gardega told The Washington Post. "The dog invading her space is reflective of her invading the space that belongs to the bull."
"I happen to know someone who knows the artist who made the bull, and so I know what he put into that work," he added. "He dropped about $350,000 of his own money into the sculpture, and 'Fearless Girl' statue changes the meaning."
The four-foot-tall statue was placed in front of the bronze bull March 7, around the first anniversary of the Gender Diversity Index SHE, which tracks companies that are gender diverse. It was commissioned by the investment firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) as an advertising campaign.
Delaware-based artist Kristen Visbal cast the bronze girl, who wears pigtails and a windblown dress, and, with hands on her hips, stares daringly at the beast before her, The Post's Katie Mettler reported last month.
"We were focusing on making a statement about the future of Wall Street," Visbal told CNN Money. "We wanted this wonderful contrast."
The project is about "girl power," she said, a message to corporate boards on Wall Street with a dearth of women members "that we are here, that we are heard, that we are permanent."
The plaque at the feet of "Fearless Girl" reads: "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference."
"Fearless Girl" has become a tourist fixture in Lower Manhattan, with more than 25,000 Instagram photos tagged #fearlessgirl. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is allowing the temporary statue to remain in Bowling Green Park until February 2018.
Arturo Di Modica, the bull's creator, told the Associated Press last month that he considers "Fearless Girl" an "advertising trick" that alters the creative message of his legendary work by implying that the two statues are locked in a conflicted faceoff.
Di Modica's attorney, Norman Siegel, a former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told The Post that he sent requests to the city of New York and SSGA informing both entities that the statue violated his client's rights under copyright law.
To date, Siegel said, he's heard nothing back.
Gabriel Koren, an artist who created a sculpture of Frederick Douglass peering into Harlem from Central Park, told The Post that she can understand why a competing work of art - placed without permission - would present a serious problem for an artist.
"Every sculpture needs space. That is the nature of sculpture," she said. "If you put something else there, it changes it." "Fearless Girl," she said, is "cute," but "you don't stand up for women's rights at the expense of the artist's rights. Each right is equally important. I am saying this as a woman."
With the statue war in limbo, and Gardega wanting to stand up for his fellow artist, he decided to act. He created the dog sculpture fairly quickly, he said, and even noted that he did a shoddy job on the sculpture to hint at how unworthy "Fearless Girl" is in comparison with the bull.
"I made it in a couple hours, and it looks like that as well," Gardega said.
Gardega has a knack for creating art that grabs headlines. In 2012, the Brooklyn-based provocateur unveiled a Bernie Madoff-themed hot sauce he called "Bernie in Hell," according to the New York Daily News. He's also known for creating New York City trading cards and painting the Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of his apartment, the paper reported.
Many women who gathered around the "Pissing Pug" and "Fearless Girl" on Monday were unconvinced that Gardega's work did not contain a misogynistic undertone, according to the New York Post.
"That's an a-hole move. You call this art?" one woman, who was not identified, told the paper.
Some people even kicked the statue, damaging it, Gardega said.
As news of the urinating dog spread on social media, the sculpture quickly became another proxy battle for larger conversations about gender equality, power and respect on Wall Street.
Gardega said he rejects the idea that the girl statue is a feminist symbol and isn't worried about the online backlash his dog sculpture spawned.
"I'm an old-school New Yorker, so things roll of my skin pretty easily," he said. "I get a lot of hate mail. I think I am bringing up a valid point here. I totally believe in my stance on the dog sculpture and my stance on Arturo's sculpture."
Gardega said he left Wall Street with the dog sculpture in tow and plans to repair the statue. The reason? The pug's work is not done, he said.
"I'm going to put it back next week," he said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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