Posts Tagged ‘public art’

Public art of the day

Posted: 26 December 2019 in Uncategorized
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Banksy

Public art of the day

Posted: 24 December 2019 in Uncategorized
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Banksy

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Apparently, Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor who created Charging Bull nearly 30 years ago, considers Fearless Girl to be an insult to his work and wants it taken away.

Here’s the problem: artists (or, in the case of the opposing sculpture, the corporate sponsors) don’t get to claim the final interpretation of their work. They can attempt to control the interpretation, often with the addition of a title, but that’s it. The rest is up to the viewing public, the conversations they have about the works, and of course the way the images circulate in and through other discourses.

Thus, for example, Di Modica wants us to believe the bull’s meaning is “freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love.” But that’s not how we see it. For us, his bull has come to represent Wall Street—hard-charging, run-over-everything-in-its-path financial capital.

And the girl? State Street Global Advisors put her there as a marketing stunt, to symbolize the idea that women have finally taken their place in the nation’s financial district. However, as Ginia Bellafante argues, that would be a “false feminism”: “really, how inspiring is a symbol of financial-world gender inequity to a cashier at CVS?”

But what if the girl has a different meaning—of people, both men and women, young and old, represented by a young fearless girl who is standing up to the hard-charging bull of Wall Street?

The late John Berger once wrote that, in the history of art, “men act and women appear.” But the Fearless Girl challenges that history. She doesn’t just appear, she acts—she stands there in an act of defiance against the marauding power of finance, the highest symbol of capitalism itself.

No wonder Di Modica, representing the powers behind him, wants her removed.

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Shepard Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal

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Alessandro Portelli, “Harlan County/Kolkata” (November 2016)

by Alessandro Portelli [ht: db] at Jadavpur University in Kolkata

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Banksy, no title

Banksy’s untitled piece was part of a pop-up art exhibit organized during the Democratic National Convention by Rock the Vote as part of its Truth to Power series—to offer “a counterpoint to the narratives that dominated the DNC.”

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Charlie Becker, “99 Problems (Bein’ Rich Ain’t One)”

Charlie Becker’s piece, “99 Problems (Bein’ Rich Ain’t One),” was part of a pop-up art exhibit organized during the Democratic National Convention by Rock the Vote as part of its Truth to Power series—to offer “a counterpoint to the narratives that dominated the DNC.”