Wall Street is going to the dogs — or at least it did for a few hours on Monday.
That’s when artist Alex Gardega installed a pug statue called “Sketchy Dog,” which appeared to be urinating on the “Fearless Girl” statue’s leg.
“Most people were amused or perplexed by it,” Gardega told NBC News. “Kids petted it, people were taking pictures with it. A few were upset and kicked it.”
Gardega said he created his clay and faux bronze “Sketchy Dog” as an act of solidarity with guerilla artist Arturo Di Modica, who created Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull” statue.
“I have a lot of empathy for the creator of the bull, Arturo. He is very upset,” Gardega said.
Di Modica finished “Charging Bull” after the 1987 stock market collapse, and placed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a symbol of American resilience. The city initially removed it, but later re-installed it in its current location near Wall Street in the Financial District.
Conversely, the “Fearless Girl” statue, was commissioned by one of the world’s largest banks — State Street Global Advisors — as a way to call attention to the gender pay gap and a lack of women on corporate financial sector boards, according to the company.
State Street is also the creator of the Gender Diversity Index SHE, which tracks gender diversity in companies. An inscription at the feet of “Fearless Girl” reads, “Know the Power of Leadership, SHE makes a difference.”
“That piece, [‘Fearless Girl’] was not made by some individual artist making a statement,” Gardega said. “It was made by a billion dollar financial firm trying to promote an index fund. It is advertising/promotion in the guise of art. That was my only point.”