Fearless Girl, Charging Bull
This story topped a week filled with Sean Spicer begging forgiveness after claiming even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his own people and calling Auschwitz a “holocaust center“, United Airlines losing a nasty brawl with a 69 year old man despite breaking his nose, knocking out his teeth, and giving him a concussion as they dragged him off the plane for the crime of choosing not to volunteer to catch the next flight, and Bashar Al Assad making a somewhat reasonable claim that gassing his own people isn’t in Syria’s best interests while stepping confidently, as mass murderers step, into the argument that the whole thing was staged and the gasping, dying, and dead children were possibly faking it.
I hope Sean Spicer is forgiven and perhaps takes up the new spokesperson opening at United Airlines, I hope United Airlines was just caught in a perfectly bad storm of taking a corporate policy that shifts employee disaffection onto powerless customers who are just trying to get home, and I hope that shocking images of the consequences of war keep putting tough guy dictators and those who work with them, proxy their own agenda through them, or simply figure out too late that they’ve been duped into making cover for them, on camera to say, “this is an atrocity that I will not take the blame for nor try to justify.”
Art becomes advertisement
Bull was dropped in Manhattan under cover of darkness, guerrilla style. It was removed at great expense to the taxpayers, and then returned by the city as a result of public support for the sculpture that has become an unflinching and massively popular mascot for the greed and power of the narcissistic and self-congratulatory 1%.
Fearless Girl has a permit, was installed as an advertisement for an index fund comprising companies described as “gender diverse” using some city resources for which the indescribably rich global financial organization behind her commission was billed, and she will be removed when her exhibit has run its course.
Sean Spicer, Oscar Muñoz, and Bashar Al Assad are happy, I’m sure, to share the spotlight with a sculptor this week: Arturo Di Modica. He makes the shocking claim that Fearless Girl is distorting his artistic message and must be removed. His Bull’s imposing stature and attitude defied Americans’ crushing sense of defeat in the face of a global market meltdown and helped turn public sentiment around to give the 1980s economy a good “hey, bro, you got this…” punch to the arm when it was suffering some existential self-esteem issues.
But considering the artist has since turned his guerrilla art creation into a litigious cash cow and the insecure Wall Street bro he hoped to inspire has since become the most powerful political and financial force ever known, my sympathy doubts his artistic attachment.