Sculptor Kristen Visbal’s bronze figure “Fearless Girl” is in the news again. You may remember the work installed on Wall Street in March to face Arturo Modica’s longstanding bronze “Charging Bull” on Wall Street. Made to look spunky with hands on hips to defy sexism in the workplace, the tyke is reminiscent of Scout in “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” unafraid to question the world around her.

Battle of the sexes

“Fearless Girl” is making headlines now because another Sculpture entered the scene to oppose her daring to challenge the bull. But how can a replica of a pug flout anything, unless you count that the sculptor, Alex Gardega, designed the dog to urinate on the girl’s leg, which he calls “Pissing Pug.” In defense of his poor craftsmanship, he told the New York Post, “I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull.” He has since removed the pug.

Excuses, excuses

Good riddance to a sorry excuse for poor workmanship, not to mention a downright silly concept. If Gardega found Fearless Girl so unworthy of “Charging Bull,” he should have opted for something along the lines of Victor Spinki’s clay replica of a trash can with metallic glaze known as “Covered Pail.” Placing a garbage can next to “Fearless Girl” would have sent his message better than a pooch passing water. And why a dog in the first place? Isn’t it absurd to have a pug defend the honor of a charging bull? If an animal is to be the challenger, why not go for the fiercest of them all – the lion – like the famed life-size sculpture marking a gravesite in 6th century Milesrus, Greece?

Man versus beast

Animals aside, when it comes to protest art, Gardega might have to check out art history and consider what 17th century sculptor Hieronymus Duquesnoy did for the city of Belgium -- a work describing a little boy tinkling into the bowl of a fountain. It was intended to stand for the city’s rebellious spirit, and given that the boy continues to take a leak on a main street in Belgium to this day, that defiant spirit is still in the air there.

Had Gardega replicated Duquesnoy’s work instead of a canine and paired it with “Fearless Girl” to create a boy versus girl scenario, he would have made his sexist point with greater effect.

What’s next?

All that said, one wonders if there’s a trend developing of sculptors protesting each other’s works with installations of their own.

With “Fearless Girl” rebelling against “Charging Bull,” and “Pissing Pug” objecting to the kid, maybe someone objecting to the stark frontal nudity of Michelangelo’s “David” will erect a companion piece on par with Wendell Castel’s mahogany replica of a coat rack, complete with coat.