The Investment Firm That Commissioned Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ Is Suing the Artist for Making Replicas

From ArtNet News:

Fearless Girl, the bronze statue that immediately went viral after it was installed in downtown Manhattan two years ago as a symbol to promote gender diversity on Wall Street, is now at the heart of a trademark and breach of contract lawsuit.

State Street Global Advisors, the Massachusetts-based investment company that commissioned Fearless Girl, filed a lawsuit against its creator, Delaware-based artist Kristen Visbal, on February 14 in New York State Supreme Court.

State Street says that the artist has made at least three unauthorized reproductions of the statue so far: one for Maurice Blackburn, an Australian law firm that specializes in personal injury, class actions, and financial services; one for real-estate investor Christian Ringnes, who is the owner of the Grand Hotel in Oslo; and a third statue that Visbal brought to the Women’s March in Los Angeles last month.

. . . .

State Street wants to “safeguard its interests” in the Fearless Girl statue and uphold the message it stands for, the company says in its complaint, alleging that Visbal’s unauthorized reproductions could damage its status in a global campaign to support corporate gender diversity and female leadership.

Link to the rest at ArtNet News

A word on State Street’s behalf – The owner of a trademark can lose its rights to exclusive use of the mark if it fails to defend the mark when it is improperly used by others. Trademark infringement is fairly self-explanatory. Trademark dilution permits the owner of a mark sue someone who is using the mark in a manner that dilutes the distinctive quality of that mark, either through “blurring” or “tarnishment” of that mark.

Here’s a photo of Fearless Girl:

The full meaning of Fearless Girl also includes the statue’s location vis-à-vis another famous Wall Street statue, Charging Bull.

8 thoughts on “The Investment Firm That Commissioned Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ Is Suing the Artist for Making Replicas”

  1. Am I the only one who roots for the bull?

    The bull symbolizes a rising market — a bull market. The Fearless Girl is posed to stop that. Is that truly what you want?

    • You’re not. The bull was a gift to New Yorkers symbolizing hope after a major economic downturn. The other statue is a corporate commission masquerading as empowering and attempting to hijack and change the original artist’s meaning. I can’t stand it, honestly. Unsurprising that the original commissioners of Fearless Girl are getting rights-grabby and litigious.

      • ‘State Street Global Advisors’ should be being sued by whoever put up the bull for damaging/corrupting their art. 😉

      • Because of how they forced a redepiction of the earlier landmark for their own selfish ends, I’m all for calling all future downturns a “girl market”.

        I see it’s okay to abuse someone else’s message, by putting their own statue up in seeming counterpoint, but not okay for others to do the same to them.

  2. State Street wants to “safeguard its interests” in the Fearless Girl statue and uphold the message it stands for

    That’s adorable. Utterly adorable. Too bad they didn’t have a comment from the only actual artist in this matter — Arturo Di Modica. Perhaps they called at too late an hour to get a comment from him.

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