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chrisj

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#1 [url]

Apr 12 17 4:17 PM

Yes, it's intentionally distorting the meaning of the bull sculpture, but that's the single thing I like most about it.

It's not quite Banksy, is it? It's another capital-pool putting that there, and advertising themselves and their cause (which I do like) by doing so. On the other hand if it'd been Banksy, it'd be gone in a day (and probably sold to some rich collector) so this is the only way to do a Banksy-like thing in that context.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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gregdixon

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Posts: 485 Member Since:30/01/2011

#3 [url]

Apr 12 17 7:10 PM

I wouldn't describe a girl standing in front of a charging bull as fearless. Stupid might be an appropriate description, although there are probably much better ones.

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waltzmastering

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#4 [url]

Apr 13 17 12:51 AM

I think it's intriguing on a couple of levels, because the initial install of the bull in 87' was done without a permit, as an act of guerrilla art.
The city removed it, but then granted a temporary permit in 89' when it was relocated to it's present location.
Likewise, the girl was a guerrilla installation and also granted a temporary permit.

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maarvold

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#5 [url]

Apr 13 17 8:58 AM

compasspnt wrote:
I don't fully know the legal rights the original artist has, or other legal ramifications...but as an artist, I think it is awful to mess with his art like that.

 
In a way it's like making a song with samples of another song because the artist who is using samples takes a thing with one meaning and repurposes it to have another meaning.  And a possible ramification is that the original work is trivialized or lessened in stature or impact in the process.  

Last Edited By: maarvold Apr 13 17 9:03 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

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#6 [url]

Apr 13 17 10:26 AM

To Terry's point-- the Fearless Girl did not modify the original piece of art in any way. It was merely placed in proximity.

So where do we define the boundaries of art? To me, this is sort of like "they played my song on the radio, and then played an awful piece of crap next. I don't want to be associated with that." Or perhaps they put my song on a Spotify playlist with some other stuff I don't like, or maybe it was reviewed in a magazine in a roundup with three other records that I don't like. Historically, artists don't have the agency to control what art their art is placed next to.

I'd say the Charging Bull artist is within his rights to not want his art changed or modified. But the whole street isn't part of his art. His art is his sculpture.

brad allen williams

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seth

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#7 [url]

Apr 13 17 10:50 AM

His sculpture also carries a strong socioeconomic message and, as long as the original piece is not molested, I don't see anything wrong with another piece of art challenging that message purely by proximity. At worst it causes people to think.

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chrisj

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#8 [url]

Apr 13 17 11:28 AM

seth wrote:
His sculpture also carries a strong socioeconomic message and, as long as the original piece is not molested, I don't see anything wrong with another piece of art challenging that message purely by proximity. At worst it causes people to think.

Yes, exactly. I quite agree with Terry's point about how it's attacking the original artist's message, but it's impossible to disentangle that artistic vision from an extremely culturally relevant economic and political system, and I am so appalled by the consequences of that system that I have no love for the original artist.

I also think it's pretty ironic that it's an investment firm that has done this for their own benefit, not an artist expressing his horror of the original statue's message. Surely an investment firm's soul lives in the first statue and not really the second? But that's a philosophical question confusing the issue even more.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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tb av

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#10 [url]

Apr 14 17 11:00 AM

chrisj wrote:
... not an artist expressing his horror of the original statue's message. ...

 
What was the horror of the original message? It was placed as a Christmas gift to New Yorkers as a symbol of American's ability to rebound from adverse conditions. When authorities removed it, New Yorkers demended it back. It has since become a New York icon.

Personally I reacted to it as Terry states and further as gregdixon sees it. I don't think it does anything for the "fearless girl" Or to put it another way... the whole ordeal diminishes both artists and both presentations of art. That's just how it struck me the instant I saw it. I can see how others ponder it differently.

I wonder how people would react if a statue of a tall strong female matador was poised in front of the bull with her first lance poised to thrust into the bulls shoulders to begin it's slow tortuous death. I mean if you are going create art upon art and be a "fearless girl" in front of a charging bull, you might as well go all in.

 

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chrisj

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#11 [url]

Apr 14 17 11:37 AM

tb av wrote:
Or to put it another way... the whole ordeal diminishes both artists and both presentations of art. That's just how it struck me the instant I saw it. I can see how others ponder it differently.


In fact I agree. I'm just still not a Di Modica fan. This is not some relic from the Thirties: it was made as an act of defiance of the 1987 stock market crash, and we've continued to see problems with the financial sector including other crashes.

It is a very wealthy person plunking his personalized message down in public space and then demanding that people respect the mood he intends to set with it. It was originally guerrilla art, but he's claiming ownership rights as if it was not. It's popular: that's not really the point.

"Di Modica states the statue corrupts Charging Bull's artistic integrity by distorting the intent of his statue from "a symbol of prosperity and for strength" into a villain, and does so for SSgA's commercial gain." Yes, but both he and SSgA were being self-aggrandizing in the location that exemplifies just that sort of attitude, and I don't see why he gets to wield his vast money and determine the moral tone of that location, establishing an admittedly great sculpture like some religious icon (which it is), and then have that never questioned or recontextualized.

It was a very Eighties sort of guerrilla art. The Girl is a very 2017 guerrilla art, right down to a sort of corporate capital-group doing it. I feel it is absolutely just as appropriate. The bull was guerrilla art inflicting a message in tune with the times. So's the girl…

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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tb av

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Apr 14 17 1:59 PM

chrisj wrote:
 So's the girl…
 

 
Ok, I see what you are saying... but if you take that guerrilla art concept... not all art carries the same gravity. For me, my reaction was that the little girl came off sort of Poser-ish regardless of how it placed there or even the intended message.

I mean they got a permit so they have every right to do it apparently. I guess maybe it's Pre-Apocalyptic Nuvo-Guerrilla Art ( that's where you stand in line to pay tax on your art before you show it and then tell everyone it's going to change the world )....

Any bets on which Kardashian will pose with it first?


 

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soapfoot

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#13 [url]

Apr 14 17 4:56 PM

tb av wrote:

chrisj wrote:
 So's the girl…



 

 
Ok, I see what you are saying... but if you take that guerrilla art concept... not all art carries the same gravity. For me, my reaction was that the little girl came off sort of Poser-ish regardless of how it placed there or even the intended message.



 


You're probably not the only one to react that way, but I didn't feel that way at all.

As contemporary art, the Charging Bull very well reflected the times in 1987. The fearless girl is much more reflective of the times we live in NOW, and contemporary social mores in 2017.

Themes of wealth inequality are salient now. Themes of feminism are salient now. Due to its proximity to the financial district, the bull has become sort of emblematic of the "wealthy investor class". Considering all of the talk and concern about the disappearing middle class, something like the Fearless Girl statue plays upon those themes. Simultaneously, gender inequality in the workplace is still a battle that's being fought, and the statue plays upon those themes, too-- which are likewise timely in 2017.

There are people, quite predictably, who aren't too enamored of the way the world is changing, or of the shifting social mores. And there does appear to be some correlation there, at least demographically, with those who are or aren't too enamored of the statue. Predictably, women seem to like it more than men. Younger, poorer folks tend to like it more than older, more well-to-do folks. Liberals tend to like it more than conservatives, etc etc. And this is another way in which the sculpture is timely and relevant-- it emblemizes the "culture wars" that have lately become so divisive and bitter.

Which sort of reinforces, to me, that the Fearless Girl statue is indeed succeeding as art-- it makes people think, it makes people reflect, it makes people emboldened, it makes people angry, and it makes people feel. What is the purpose of art if not that?

My wife works less than a block away from the two statues. She likes it. I like it, too.


 

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 14 17 5:00 PM. Edited 2 times.

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John Eppstein

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#14 [url]

Apr 14 17 5:38 PM

seth wrote:
His sculpture also carries a strong socioeconomic message and, as long as the original piece is not molested, I don't see anything wrong with another piece of art challenging that message purely by proximity. At worst it causes people to think.

Think? We can't have that, can we?

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chrisj

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Posts: 988 Member Since:22/02/2011

#15 [url]

Apr 16 17 9:16 AM

I just had this thought: the danglybits of the bull are fondled by stockbrokers etc. for luck. If the artist removed the bull, it would shake up a lot of stockbrokers.

What if he rotated the bull and moved it over so the girl was gazing raptly at the bull's bits, like from real close up? Would there ensue a sort of waltz of statues? Two can play at the 'recontextualize somebody else's art out of spite' game. And if it's truly a Big Meaningful Statement and certain wealthy people are that ticked off at the implications of the statement, if they're petty it's really pretty trivial to make a crude joke out of the intended message. The artist would only need to move his own statue, not even touch the other one.

Probably not getting enough sleep if that's my grade of thinking this morning ;)

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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gtoledo3

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#16 [url]

Apr 16 17 9:41 AM

At first I was thinking it was rough to distort the original art...

...but as soon as I found out the original guy just left it there himself? Sure made my take on it flip! Tough cookies.

Chris, your take on turning the bull around would be a genius troll. Not that I endorse it :-)

I think that the solution to all of this, is a third bronze statue of a group of people taking selfies and maybe obviously pointing at the other two statues, arguing about them.

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soapfoot

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#17 [url]

Apr 16 17 9:49 AM

The more I learn about the Fearless Girl statue and who put it there, the more disappointed I become that it's basically just a brilliant commercial for a new index fund.

brad allen williams

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chrisj

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Posts: 988 Member Since:22/02/2011

#19 [url]

Apr 16 17 12:18 PM

soapfoot wrote:
The more I learn about the Fearless Girl statue and who put it there, the more disappointed I become that it's basically just a brilliant commercial for a new index fund.

Well, it doesn't get much more 2017 than that… and the path of modern art and its relationship with capital means that perhaps that's MORE artistically resonant than the original work, in the sense of being postmodern in a postmodern era.

Like the art critic fellow on NPR says, the original work is populist garbage that reinvents nothing and does nothing interesting with material, design, etc. at all. The new one is both on the surface a commentary about the toxic masculinity of the original work, and then it's also a paid-for advertisement for an index fund, as if there was a person who was also a corporation and a disease ;)

I kid: I think that's an overly precious take on the original Bull artwork, that it's dumb to scorn it for not breaking novel artistic ground. It's like a pop song: it lives in its formula of 'big hulking bronze statue expressing rude animality and vitality' and is really good at it, doesn't need to reinvent a new theory of visuality or whatever.

But the Girl also lives in a formula of 'commercial art going just as ruthlessly for some pretty basic emotional reactions', which is more or less what the Bull was. They're both equally good. The only difference is, the Bull is a rich guy (whom the art critic apparently doesn't like!) whipping his crass taste on the public whether they like it or not for his own greater glory and to ground people in the emotion he advocates, and the Girl is a rich index fund doing exactly the same thing. The emotion the index fund wants us to experience is even a little more sophisticated, and they pull it off.

It's exactly the same behavior and goal and degree of artistic talent, but one is a guy and the other is a composite person, a group, a corporate person. I suppose the next stage would be an AI thinking up some meta-commentary on the whole thing and commissioning a statue to glorify itself and ITS concept…

I'm gonna go and melt down some pennies I have in a jar, and make an itty-bitty copper mouse, and go put it there watching the both of 'em. 'cos I can't afford to make a big bronze thing, don't even have any bronze unless I melted down my cymbals, which ain't happening ;)

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

Last Edited By: chrisj Apr 16 17 12:22 PM. Edited 1 time.

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