The “Fearless Girl” statue has stood outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City since 2017. The hands-on-hips bronze statue has inspired millions with a message of female empowerment. Although at the beginning “Fearless Girl” was intended as a temporary display to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards, the statue still remains outside the NYSE.
The petite but controversial figure is a symbol of gender equality. To mark International Women’s Day next month, the artist behind the figure, Kristen Visbal, a Delaware-based artist, is releasing an NFT collection featuring the now-famous work. She usually works with cast bronze, however this time she collaborated with visual effects studio 9ifx to bring her NFT collection to life. Her new digital art was inspired by images of nebula clouds taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
“Fearless Girl” was originally installed on the cobblestones of downtown Manhattan, across from the famous “Charging Bull” statue. The sculpture earned 1 billion impressions on Twitter within the first 12 hours. “Fearless Girl was intended to “call attention to the glass ceiling in the Wall Street community that so many women have faced… for promotion and for equal pay,” Visbal said. “It was a very clear and simple message.” However, Visbal had to face plenty of criticism regarding this sculpture. The week after “Fearless Girl” was installed, an op-ed in the New York Times argued that the figure represented a form of “false feminism.” In reply to this Visbal stated that the statue’s ideals “have been minimized,” she said, as she created “Fearless Girl” for the public, not for corporate sponsors. “She legally stands for equality, equal pay, supporting women in leadership positions, the empowerment of women, education of women, education for the prevention of prejudice, and the general well-being of women,” she said.
Visbal would like to see “Fearless Girl” realigned with her initials and hence she is using the trademarked name in her NFT collection “Superstar Drop: Free Fearless Girl.” Moreover, she also wants a plaque placed at the girl’s feet as she wants to explain the ideals she had in mind when she created her. “This is my work, and I made it with integrity, and I have integrity,” Visbal said. “And I would like to see her used properly.”
- Mohor Bhattacharjee