Author Topic: Fearless Girl  (Read 1787 times)

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Online bimble

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2017, 03:56:15 PM »
It does sort of remind me of the story of David Irvine, who takes painting bought in charity stores and adds whimsical characters... such as Darth Vader fishing. Only in that case the original artists of the paintings haven't apparently then complained. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/aug/03/david-irvine-upcycled-thrift-store-paintings-in-pictures

Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2017, 04:04:26 PM »
The new scene is kind of fitting I think. The bull is likely scared of the girl and is in a defensive pose, probably not there by choice. Meanwhile the girl has been allowed to venture near a dangerous animal by her irresponsible parents. It is clearly a representation of the dangers of deregulation.
THAT'S NOT THE INTENT YOU CAN'T INTERPET IT THAT WAY

You're right, I've had a think about it. I think the scene basically is advocating vegetarianism, with a paen to the essential paradox at the heart of capitalism: does it serve us, or the other way around? The girl is being taken to a local branch of McDonalds by her parents who are both Wall St bankers. The bull is contemplating its existence, basically surmising that it would not exist if it were not for the meat eating habits of humans.
OK. This interpretation is literally as meaningful as the actual artist's interpretation now that the art is public. And I mean that non-sarcastically.
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Offline nameofthewave

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2017, 04:17:02 PM »
Someone should put a statue of a steaming turd next to the bull, and see what the artist does, just for a laugh

Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2017, 04:48:41 PM »
It does sort of remind me of the story of David Irvine, who takes painting bought in charity stores and adds whimsical characters... such as Darth Vader fishing. Only in that case the original artists of the paintings haven't apparently then complained. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/aug/03/david-irvine-upcycled-thrift-store-paintings-in-pictures
That's also a *much* closer edge case, as Irvine is clearly defacing the work of other artists. It may not be terribly high quality art that he's defacing and the consequences of doing so is probably not all that great (I really, really doubt that in 500 years we're going to be looking at a crappy street scene and complaining that it was a wonderful example of the way things looked at the time before, but hey, we might, who knows), but, unlike this situation, yeah, I could see sticking up for an artist if they thought that something they had done some work on was being kind of crapped on, because, well, it *is* defacing. It's defacing that IMO makes the original work a lot more interesting but it's still physically altering the canvas that the painting was drawn upon.

*This* isn't even defacing. Fearless Girl isn't on top of or otherwise attached to the bull. Fearless Girl isn't even really right next to the bull. Fearless Girl is several yards away in the line of sight of the bull. As defacement goes... no, this is just plain not that. The artist does not get to control what other people get to think about the art, and the artist sure as hell doesn't get to control what other art installations are placed nearby it on a public space.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2017, 07:09:14 PM »
The bull is a metaphor for delicious beets and the little girl will be powerless to stop delicious beets from becoming and integral part of every meal.

As long as they are golden beets or albino beets I'm all in favor. Red beets are not as good. Not only is the red color indelible, but IMO it affects the flavor. Beets are better without the red.

His expressive art has been co-opted by others to change its meaning and wrest away control of the art from its creator.  This is clear appropriation.

Both pieces of art are in a public space. An artist who puts his art in a public space has no right to bar another artist from putting art in a public space, even if it is nearby. If he still owns his piece he has the right to remove it, but not to demand the removal of other art.

The guy installed his bull surreptitiously and without asking permission.  He made his political statement, and others have as much right to place unauthorized sculptures there to make counter statements as he did to make his original one (which is come to think of it, not any right, really).  In my opinion, if he wanted to be able to control the context of his sculpture, he should have kept it in a gallery.

Totally agree.

Someone should put a statue of a steaming turd next to the bull, and see what the artist does, just for a laugh

Depicting steam in a sculpture would be a challenge. You'd need a continual source of water and a constant supply of heat. Maybe just a sculpture of a big pile of bull shit right under the bull's rump. Real shit does not steam for very long, or at all in warm weather. I see no need for the sculpture of shit to steam. But a pile of poop would make the scene more realistic. Or they could put actual poop, and change it every couple of days to keep it fresh.

I once knew an artist (a very talented painter, actually) who thought it would be a good idea to encase his own shit in clear acrylic and call it art. Considering the shit that gets called art in "contemporary" circles, I think this would be better than some.
Daniel
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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2017, 08:20:37 PM »
A few things that bother me about the Fearless Girl statue:

1) The kid is about to be needlessly killed by a dangerous animal. I don't get the moral message there.

2) The statue's sponsor is State Street Global Advisors. Basically a big bank co-opting protests against the financial industry. To quote from a Guardian article: "...the sculpture with a plaque reading, ‘Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.' SHE is the trading symbol for one of State Street’s index funds."

3) Why a girl? When not an adult woman? Isn't this somewhat infantilizing?

4) Is the girl trying to stop the bull market? Does she prefer recession?

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2017, 08:37:01 PM »
You lose most of your control of the meaning of you work the moment it is viewed / read / heard by the public.  Sorry Charlie, but that's the way it is.
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2017, 10:04:58 PM »
4) Is the girl trying to stop the bull market? Does she prefer recession?

YES!

I was just about to say, the thing that confuses me is what facing down the bull is supposed to represent. The bull and that statue specifically, in context of Wall Street and the stock markets, is a symbol of financial prosperity and optimism (eg, a "bull market"). Why would one face that down, and why for international womens day specifically?

Reading a bit more about the story behind Fearless Girl, apparently its meant to be about gender diversity in major corporations. Which I guess makes a bit of sense. It still sends a strange message in relation to the symbolism of the bull, though. It works if you only think of the bull as a symbol of wall street, but if you include it as a symbol of financial optimism you'd almost get a message along the lines that women in business will crash the stock market, or something silly like that.

It seems poorly thought out in terms of symbology, so I can understand the original artist being annoyed. Its an artwork that essentially relies on and encourages people to ignore the symbolism of the original artwork.
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Online Johnny Slick

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2017, 01:34:43 AM »
Reading a bit more about the story behind Fearless Girl, apparently its meant to be about gender diversity in major corporations. Which I guess makes a bit of sense. It still sends a strange message in relation to the symbolism of the bull, though. It works if you only think of the bull as a symbol of wall street, but if you include it as a symbol of financial optimism you'd almost get a message along the lines that women in business will crash the stock market, or something silly like that.
Or that capitalism is built by trampling over the less fortunate. Not necessarily a thing I agree with but a lot of people do and, well, it does evoke that sentiment. The fact that the bull is the sign of prosperity maybe not only doesn't take away from that point but adds to it.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2017, 02:55:01 AM »
Reading a bit more about the story behind Fearless Girl, apparently its meant to be about gender diversity in major corporations. Which I guess makes a bit of sense. It still sends a strange message in relation to the symbolism of the bull, though. It works if you only think of the bull as a symbol of wall street, but if you include it as a symbol of financial optimism you'd almost get a message along the lines that women in business will crash the stock market, or something silly like that.
Or that capitalism is built by trampling over the less fortunate. Not necessarily a thing I agree with but a lot of people do and, well, it does evoke that sentiment. The fact that the bull is the sign of prosperity maybe not only doesn't take away from that point but adds to it.

It evokes this sentiment, but it still feels weird that the statue is essentially an ad campaign funded by one of the largest financial companies in the world.

Offline Caffiene

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2017, 03:51:19 AM »
Or that capitalism is built by trampling over the less fortunate. Not necessarily a thing I agree with but a lot of people do and, well, it does evoke that sentiment. The fact that the bull is the sign of prosperity maybe not only doesn't take away from that point but adds to it.

I can see that, at least partly.
It still seems weird, though, since the bull is symbolic of more than just capitalism. The bull and the bear together are stock market symbols, but the bull specifically is financial optimism in a way to makes it a confused message to "stand up to" it.

It evokes this sentiment, but it still feels weird that the statue is essentially an ad campaign funded by one of the largest financial companies in the world.

In context of what they claim its about, I can see it being described as that one financial company standing up to the rest re: gender diversity in management. But I think it requires a lot more explanation that what is apparent just from the symbolism of the art itself in order to be understood.
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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2017, 06:41:40 AM »
That's also a *much* closer edge case, as Irvine is clearly defacing the work of other artists.

From the article: 'I don't like to paint on original pieces, because that's something somebody's worked on, so it's usually a print or a lithograph'

I'm fine with that. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 07:34:11 AM by NEKSkeptic »

Offline Redamare

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2017, 07:26:33 AM »
Yeah, it actually seems like he's come up with a really clever business model.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2017, 09:04:30 AM »
I offer another interpretation of the Girl. We are seeing only a moment frozen in time. It's been suggested that the Girl is opposing the bull, or that the bull is about to trample her. But here's another interpretation:

The Girl is a bull rider. As the bull charges at her, she will side-step it, grab it by the horns, swing onto its back, and ride it as a symbol of women taking their rightful place in the economy and riding the national prosperity, no longer standing meekly on the sidelines subservient to their husbands, fathers, and brothers. No longer must she hope that a man will find her adequate and will support her. The bull is hers as much as the men's.
Daniel
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Fearless Girl
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2017, 11:04:14 AM »
The Girl is a bull rider. As the bull charges at her, she will side-step it, grab it by the horns, swing onto its back, and ride it

But as a symbol, it doesnt actually show any of that. Its not contradictory to anything in the statue, but neither does anything in the statue suggest it. As I said earlier, it seems it requires a lot more explanation than what is apparent just from the symbolism of the art itself in order to be understood.

There is something to be said for the audience bringing their own subjective interpretation to a piece, but I think theres a limit to what should be considered "interpretation". Eg, I think it stretches the definition to say "The Mona Lisa is an artwork about female empowerment because secretly she is a vampire hunter who fights monsters". Theres a difference between an interpretation based on what an artwork conveys, and creating a new work of fiction that merely uses the original as a base.
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