I was in lower Manhattan this week for a DRI Event (which was wonderful) and across from the front entrance were two famous artworks that have become the fodder for many who like to create, said, fodder. “Charging Bull” has enjoyed the spot for some time since 1987 when Arthur DiModica dropped (literally) it off in the dark of night as a gift, but for the past few months, the spot is now shared……..and may it stay that way forever.
State Street Global Advisors commissioned artist, Kristin Visbal, to create ‘Fearless Girl” to stand opposite the raging bull in defiance to the powerful breathe and force of the overpowering dominant animal, with the meaning that women could stand-up to, and in, the male-dominated financial and corporate world. I had heard about this artwork and decided to have a picture taken with it/her.
But before I did, I stood back. I love art and I wanted to see what was going on. I knew there was ‘some hubbub’ out there about the two artworks but really did not pay it much heed.
I looked at the two artworks, I watched individually at first…and as a unit together. Both in their own right say much to the observer……..and clearly both can stand absolutely alone. How do you change a meaning of one huge animal artwork bearing down on anything in its path? Place a little girl in front of it with hands on her hips in defiance of any intimidation whatsoever.
In my observation, the artwork of the two pieces as one statement is a million times more powerful than standing alone as two separate pieces. Both could stand opposite many artworks and have a different meaning but these two are now linked forever as much as any other pair who came together for destiny to serve as the glue for all time moving forward. Lewis & Martin, Branca & Thomson, Hamilton & Burr, and now Fearless Girl & Charging Bull.
But, as those who know this column can imagine, I did not see that little girl as a female standing up to the male dominance that she defies as the artist was commissioned, no, I saw a different meaning and as any observer knows about artwork, that is well within my right as much as the artist’s intent.
I saw I guess my daughter, but really all kids who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The defiance is loud and it is clear. The power of diabetes (the bull) thinking that it will have its way with any child but yet, in their little bodies, they stand to stare the giant down. Defiant, confident, proud. “C’mon, you beast, you will not win.” In all of the rumblings about these two artworks, I saw one artwork. I saw our children standing up to something so much bigger than themselves…….and winning.
Please feel free to see what the artist’s work was meant to represent but also understand that art can mean many things to many different people and can be as different as the person who views it. One thing is clear, this little girl is fearless no matter who she represents……..and THAT……..is no bull.
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